Why is Skype not in Canada?

By Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. Yesterday, after several back and forth emails with Chaim Haas, a public relations representative acting on behalf of Skype, I wrote a story on the Skype for iPhone application, and its non-appearance on Canada's iTunes stores.

Since then, a number of commenters on yesterday's story have wondered aloud what the reason is, beyond Haas's comment that it was because of patent-licence restrictions related to Skype, not Apple.

I asked Rogers Wireless spokesperson Elizabeth Hamilton whether Rogers, as the sole carrier offering the iPhone in Canada through its Rogers and Fido brands, knew anything about the lack of availability. Here's her response:

"Paul, sorry I have nothing to add - Rogers is not involved in the development of this application. The Apple App store is governed by Apple and developers have added thousands of applications to it. The questions about what application goes into the App store are best responded to by the developers and/or Apple."

I've put a call through to Apple Canada's spokesperson and will post his response when he gets back to me - although since Haas said it isn't an Apple issue I'm not sure what the company will have to say.

Which means a fishing expedition may be in order. Unlike trademarks, which are easily searchable by the name of the product, searching for patents appears to be more art than science. (The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has a searchable database of more then 1.9 million patent documents.) If anyone knows an easy way to navigate this, feel free to post a comment; otherwise we'll have to see if we can unravel this mystery one search at a time.