Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Skype Faces Patent Infringement Suit

Case Filed: Apr 24, 2014

Judge: Rodney Gilstrap

Court: Texas Eastern District Court

Case Summary:

Texas-based, non-practicing entity Olivistar has filed a patent infringement complaint against Skype concerning two of their patents relating to computer software, hardware and communication networks. The patents at issue are:
  •       US6839731 entitled ‘System and method for providing data communication in a device network,’ issued on Jan 04, 2005 and expiring* by May 20, 2023
  •      US8239481 entitled ‘System and method for implementing open-control remote device control,’ issued on Aug 07, 2012 and expiring* by Dec 06, 2021

Vigilos is the current assignee+ of the patents-in-suit (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database.) According to the complaint, Olivistar is the owner by assignment of the ‘731 and ‘481 patents.

The ‘731 patent describes a method for real-time data communication, including device condition and state, between networked computing devices while the ‘481 patent describes a method for controlling networked devices through a common, remote user interface.

The complaint alleges that defendant made, had made, used, imported, provided, supplied, distributed, sold, and/or offered for sale products and/or systems and methods for providing data communication in a device network and implementing open-control remote device control that infringed the claims of the ‘731 and ‘481 patents. Particularly, defendant makes, uses, provides, offers for sale, and/or sells their product/service ‘Skype,’ which directly and/or indirectly infringes the ‘731 and ‘481 patents.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, which it wants increased due to willful infringement, and a permanent injunction barring Skype from using the patents. Plaintiff also requested a trial by jury.

Nearly 25 individual complaints were sued asserting the same two patents against several companies such as BlackBerry, Panasonic, LG, Philips, Toshiba, General Electric, Sharp Electronics, Lowe`s Companies, Amazon.com and others.

See 2:14-cv-00525 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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* Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents

+ MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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