Skype Hit With Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Popular peer-to-peer VoIP service Skype has been issued with a lawsuit by patent holdings company Gradient Enterprises.

According to TechCrunch, Gradient Enterprises claim that Skype infringes upon its patent entitled “Method for Detecting, Reporting and Responding to Network Node-Level Events and a System Thereof” which was granted in February 2010.

The lawsuit comes after Skype mentioned in a blog post that the recent outage that had prevented millions of users from accessing certain Skype features was due to malfunctioning supernodes. These supernodes help Skype route VoIP calls by not relying on a single server.

The lawsuit claims that Skype is using technology whose patent is held by Gradient, without the relevant license.

The patent describes the technology as “An event detection system communicates network event information associated with an event detected at one or more of the nodes in the network to the one or more first mobile agents, and a reporting system disseminates from the one or more first mobile agents information describing the detected event to one or more other nodes.”