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Summary:

Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, the founders of Skype, though their Joltid and Joost businesses, are seeking an injunction against Mike Volpi and Index Ventures that would prevent Volpi and Index from completing a deal agreed to in September to buy Skype from eBay. Friis and […]

janusniklas Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, the founders of Skype, though their Joltid and Joost businesses, are seeking an injunction against Mike Volpi and Index Ventures that would prevent Volpi and Index from completing a deal agreed to in September to buy Skype from eBay. Friis and Zennström sued Volpi and Index last month, after the $2-billion buyout of Skype was first announced, arguing that Volpi has unlicensed access to the source code that would allow Skype to work on the web without having to license the technology from Joltid.

The suit both looks like an attempt to keep the licensing revenue flowing to Joltid and reads like a vendetta against Volpi and Index. Volpi was the former CEO of Joost and is now a venture partner at Index, itself an investor in Skype and now part of a consortium hoping to buy Skype from eBay. Om writes that there’s no lost love between the parties. Indeed, with the injunction, it’s clear that the Skype founders are playing hardball.

In addition to preventing Volpi and Index from using confidential information in general, the injunction specifically asks that the judge keep Volpi and Index from using such information to operate Skype or engage in any strategic planning for the service; from talking about that info with the other members attempting to purchase Skype from eBay; from soliciting employees of Joost and Joltid with offers to join Skype; from communicating with current or former employees of Joost or Joltid regarding the companies’ confidential information; and from further participating in the Skype acquisition or assuming any position with Skype until a final adjudication of the merits of the case.

Basically the injunction — if granted in its entirety — would prevent the deal from going forward with Index or Volpi as part of the process. However, a judge could uphold portions of the injunction and merely make the deal a bit more complicated. It’s common practice in lawsuits to ask for the world and settle for a continent. Or in this case, ask for Volpi and Index to stop talking about and planning anything to do with Skype and settle for making the buyout more costly and time-consuming.

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  1. Links to sources for the injunction?

  2. Skype Founders Are Trying to Block Skype Sale [Business] « WeaveTheNet Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    [...] The two Skype founders are trying to block the sale of Skype from eBay to Mike Volpi and Index Ventures, claiming that the buyers are using unlicensed means of Skype’s source code to bypass having to pay a royalty to the two founders. It’s all very money/corporate/tech talk, but how it relates to you is what we talked about yesterday: the possibility of Skype buying Gizmo5 in order to power VoIP calls. [GigaOm] [...]

  3. Skype Founders Are Trying To Block Skype Sale | Gizmodo Australia Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    [...] we talked about yesterday: the possibility of Skype buying Gizmo5 in order to power VoIP calls. [GigaOm] [...]

  4. Speaking of VoIP, did you hear… » Blog Archive » Skype Founders’ Injunction May Derail Skype Purchase Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    [...] Here is the full article. [...]

  5. Joltid Versus Volpi: The Antagonism Intensifies « Twilight in the Valley of the Nerds Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    [...] In the motion and accompanying supporting documentation — filed by Joost US, Inc., its indirect parent company Joost N.V., and Joltid Limited — Volpi, formerly the CEO and chairman of video-sharing company Jooost, and Index are accused of a veritable panoply of chicanery and outright malfeasance. Many of the allegations are nothing short of incendiary. [...]

  6. Skype Founders Are Trying to Block Skype Sale [Business] « Gadgets Club Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    [...] The two Skype founders are trying to block the sale of Skype from eBay to Mike Volpi and Index Ventures, claiming that the buyers are using unlicensed means of Skype’s source code to bypass having to pay a royalty to the two founders. It’s all very money/corporate/tech talk, but how it relates to you is what we talked about yesterday: the possibility of Skype buying Gizmo5 in order to power VoIP calls. [GigaOm] [...]

  7. Quickthink » Blog Archive » An Update on the Skype Litigation Thursday, October 15, 2009

    [...] litigation heats up. GigaOM reports that Skype founders Friis and Zennstrõm have requested an injunction that would [...]

  8. There are greedy people and then there are Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström. Similiarly there are fools and there is Meg Whitman.
    How blind was she to authorize the purchase of Skype without getting ownership of the source code?

  9. Skype is not Only VOIP: It Reigns in IM But How Long? | CloudAve Thursday, October 15, 2009

    [...] Oct 15 2009 02:55:00 AM Posted By : Zoli Erdos Comments (0) Nowadays the only context we hear about Skype is the legal fight (care to bet how long it will take for the previous Net Celebs to become the [...]

  10. Skype is not Only VOIP: It Reigns in IM But How Long? | Zoli’s Blog Monday, October 19, 2009

    [...] October 19th, 2009 Nowadays the only context we hear about Skype is the legal fight (care to bet how long it will take for the previous Net Celebs to become the [...]

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