Slack Sued for Infringing “Dynamic Hosting” Patent via Video Call Feature

Remote Concepts LLC filed a patent infringement complaint against Slack Technologies, Inc. on Nov. 22, in the District of Colorado, alleging that the defendant’s workplace messaging platform infringed the plaintiff’s dynamic hosting patent through its Slack Voice and Video call functionality.

The patent-in-suit is United States Patent No. 7,016,942 (the ’942 patent) for “Dynamic Hosting.” In particular, the patent-in-suit, according to the complaint, “disclosed…a method for dynamic hosting, which is where a computer connects to a server in a network as a client and one of the clients begins to act as the host or server for the other clients, thereby no longer using the server to function as the host or server for the other clients.” As a result, the plaintiff stated “[t]his allows for a novel solution to a technological problem, i.e., ‘Offloading server tasks to specific clients’ and ‘creating self-sustaining dynamic client-server configurations independent of the server to which the clients originally connected.’”

The plaintiff stated that Slack “makes, uses, imports, sells, and/or offers for sale products and/or systems that infringes the claims of the ’942 patent when placed into operation by Defendant or its end users, i.e., Slack Voice and Video calls which utilize WebRTC and substantially similar products.”

Moreover, the plaintiff averred that Slack has infringed at least claim 13 of the patent-in-suit through its accused instrumentalities because these allegedly “perform a computer implemented method for channeling data through a network from an initial client/server connectivity to direct client-to-client communication…” As illustrated in the complaint, Slack purportedly uses the WebRTC standard for real-time communication, which through peer connections, allows “two applications on different computers to communicate using a peer-to-peer protocol.” Furthermore, the plaintiff claimed that before establishing a call, Slack’s accused instrumentalities connect users to a server to establish communication between the users, and the users share various connectivity information in the process called signaling. Additionally, in the accused instrumentalities, “one user maintains the connection with signaling [the] server while communicating directly with the other user.”

The plaintiff has sought declaratory judgment, an award for damages, an award for costs and fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief.

Remote Concepts is represented by Ni, Wang & Massand, PLLC.