Skype blamed its supernodes for the VoIP network's downtime last week, and it seems the P2P technology is also to blame for a new patent infringement lawsuit filed against the company. Gradient Enterprises claims Skype is stomping all over its "Method for Detecting, Reporting and Responding to Network Node-Level Events and a System Thereof" patent, granted back in February 2010, without coughing up the necessary licensing fees
Just as Skype's supernodes communicate network status and manage VoIP call routing in a decentralized way, meaning that - in theory at least - the system is not reliant on a single server hosted by Skype itself, Gradient's patented technology covers cross-node communication of status and events. As the patent describes:
"An event detection system communicates network event information associated with an event detected at one or more of the nodes in the network to the one or more first mobile agents, and a reporting system disseminates from the one or more first mobile agents information describing the detected event to one or more other nodes."
Skype is yet to comment on the lawsuit.