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Net2Phone sues Skype

Internet phone company files patent infringement lawsuit against rival Skype and its parent, eBay.

Internet phone company Net2Phone has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against rival Skype Technologies and its parent company, eBay.

Net2Phone, which filed its lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, alleges that Skype infringed on its patent, No. 6,108,704. The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) patent was issued to Net2Phone in August 2000.

Net2Phone's lawsuit comes as the VoIP industry has seen a flood of new entrants from small start-ups to large, established Internet service providers.

Net2Phone alleges that Skype, a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, violated its "point-to-point Internet Protocol" patent. The patent calls for the exchange of IP addresses between processing units in order to establish a direct communications link between the devices via the Internet.

Skype uses a peer-to-peer technology to operate its VoIP service, whereas companies such as Vonage and AT&T largely use a system that is centrally managed to transfer calls to a traditional phone network.