LOS ANGELES – The firm behind Morpheus online file-swapping software is suing eBay Inc. (EBAY) and 21 other defendants in a dispute over the right to technology used to make telephone calls over the Internet.
The federal lawsuit filed by Los Angeles-based StreamCast Networks Inc. also names as defendants Internet phone service provider Skype and the founders of Kazaa BV, which the suit claims developed the technology that led to the online phone service.
StreamCast claims it had the right of first refusal when the founders of Kazaa sold the company and transferred its phone technology to another firm.
Skype was acquired last year by San Jose-based eBay for $2.6 billion.
On Monday, StreamCast filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court that included eBay and seeks more than $4.1 billion in unspecified damages and a court order blocking eBay from selling Skype services.
"Defendants have orchestrated an elaborate overseas shell game in an attempt to steal and wrongfully profit from technology that rightfully belongs to StreamCast, and which the defendants have used and are using to their advantage," the lawsuit states.
EBay spokeswoman Catherine England said the company was aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment further.
Luxembourg-based Skype claims to have close to 100 million users, who call for free from computer to computer, or pay a small fee to place and receive calls from regular phones.