The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a Microsoft patent application that reaches back to December 2009 and describes “recording agents” to legally intercept VoIP phone calls.
The “Legal Intercept” patent application is one of Microsoft’s more elaborate and detailed patent papers, which is comprehensive enough to make you think twice about the use of VoIP audio and video communications. The document provides Microsoft’s idea about the nature, positioning and feature set of recording agents that silently record the communication between two or more parties.
The patent was filed well before Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype and there is no reason to believe that the patent was filed with Skype as a Microsoft property in mind. However, the patent mentions Skype explicitly as an example application for this technology and Microsoft may now have to answer questions in which way this patent applies to its new Skype entity and if the technology will become part of Skype.