Microsoft is the latest to fall victim to a patent troll. Microsoft is being sued by CopyTele, a company that prides itself in being "specialists in patent monetization and patent assertion." They allege that some of Skype's technology relies on patents held by its subsidiary, Secure Web Conference Corp.
The specific patents alleged in the complaint are: "Method and apparatus for securing e-mail attachments" and "Portable telecommunication security device." Both were granted to the company in 2005 and both relate to security for Web-based peer-to-peer communications.
The second patent listed above specifically covers a security device and CopyTele is alleging that a PC or smartphone falls within that definition.
CopyTele CEO Robert Berman:
New management joined CopyTele in September and we saw a lot of potential diamonds in the rough, and this is one of them. It's the second patent assertion campaign that we launched. We will continue to be active both in the Web conference space and in the other spaces in which we have patent coverage. We expect to launch additional assertion progRAMs with significant revenue opportunities as we continue to mine [CopyTele's] patents and acquire additional patent portfolios from third parties.