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Skype sees off one patent threat...

...plenty more to go

Skype is claiming a victory in one of the many IP suits that are plaguing the P2P phone company at the moment.

Robert Miller, Skype's general counsel, said in a blog post the other day that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had ruled in favour of Skype and sort-of-ex-parent eBay, over a brace of patents asserted by Peer Communications Group.

The Court of Appeals ruling affirmed a judgment from the District Court of the Eastern District of Texas, that the two patents were invalid, said Miller. The patents related, unsurprisingly, to peer-to-peer communications networks.

"We will always fight against allegations of patent infringement that lack merit and protect Skype's interests to the full extent necessary," Miller thundered.

Peer Communications is part of Acacia Research, a powerhouse of tech IP and related litigation.

But while Skype may have seen off this case, IP uncertainty still swirls around the VoIP platform.

eBay offloaded a majority stake in Skype last month and was promptly sued by Joltid, which is owned by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom.

The pair filed suit in Northern California US District Court over peer-to-peer technology included in Skype software, according to court documents, specifically the Global Index software. Friis and Zennstrom claim the technology fully belongs to them.

Just for good measure, Friis and Zennstrom are suing the former chairman of their web TV firm in a trade secrets spat.

It just makes you wonder why these people can't just talk things out. Maybe they've been using Skype. ®

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