Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Net2Phone Sues Skype: But who owns the Patent?

Saunders gives a quick history of the Net2Phone patent (in question in the Skype patent infridgement lawsuit): "A quick search at USPTO.GOV, though, reveals more than 100 granted patents or filed applications by Net2Phone, and none that I could see by Skype....The patent itself is an interesting read. Filed in September of 1995, it contemplates a system for looking up the IP address of other voice capable clients on a network using either a database, or an email based exchange of addresses, and then permitting streams of packetized data to flow between the clients. Clients register, signal availability, and initiate sessions. It’s starkly similar to the SIP architecture, or for that matter, to DNS.....It turns out that SIP, and it’s precursors, may be prior art. Henning Shulzrinne published the first SCIP (the precursor to SIP) draft in February of 1996.There may also be an H.323 connection. In May of 1996, the ITU approved the H.323v1 standard, which also contemplates a similar registration and signalling regime."

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