Microsoft Announces Skype Acquisition For 8.5 Billion

A lawsuit was filed against Microsoft on Wednesday by a company asserting the Windows 8-maker is using encryption technology from the 90s in its Skype service. Web Conference Encryption, a subsidiary of Copytele, which is a patent monetization and assertion company, filed the suit in the Federal District Court. A spokesman for the company said Copytele is hoping to get a percentage of the $4 billion per year revenue generated by the conferencing industry.

Copytele CEO Robert Berman said he vehemently believes the filing is to protect smaller companies, and that the suit should in no way be considered an attempt at trolling. The two U.S. patents include a method for securing e-mail attachments and also includes a portable telecommunication security device. Copytele said the security device patent by definition applies to any smartphone that runs Skype or any other Web conferencing software.

Copytele's contention is that they have just as much right to assert their patents as any big company, and that the "Troll" controversy is an illusion created by large companies to further influence the patent laws to their advantage.

The company said Web Conference Encryption spent time and money developing the patents in question, and it's not afraid to take on the roll of martyr to protect what it feels is a larger injustice brought against smaller innovators. The patent was filed just this morning, and Microsoft has yet to comment.

While Copytele attempts to distance itself from the Scarlett Troll badge, the company recently purchased patent portfolios in April, and said it's going to launch more "assertion program with significant revenue opportunities." Copytele has previously filed suits against AU Optronics and E Ink Holdings over electrophoretic display tech.