Did Skype Talk Itself Into A Lawsuit By Explaining Last Week’s Outage?

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Skype is really not having the best holiday season. With no reason as yet revealed for the service outage that lasted more than a day last week (Although CEO Tony Bates blogged that technicians “now understand the cause of the problem and we believe it was not caused by a malicious attack”; a post-mortem has been promised in the near future), the company has now been hit by a patent infringement lawsuit that seems to have been triggered by that very same service failure.

TechCrunch is reporting that Gradient Enterprises – a company it describes as “an obnoxious patent troll,” ominously – is claiming that, in explaining what may have caused Skype’s downtime last week, the company may have also explained that it was using a system and software similar to Gradient’s patented “Method For Detecting, Reporting and Responding To Network Node-Level Events”. The suit was filed December 23rd, a day after Skype’s outage, in the US District Court for the Western District of New York.

Skype has so far refused to comment on the issue.

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