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Microsoft Told to Pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 Billion

Microsoft Corp. should pay Alcatel- Lucent $1.52 billion, a federal jury said, deciding the world's biggest software maker used digital music technology without permission and handing down the largest patent ruling in history.

The San Diego jury said today that Microsoft infringed two Alcatel-Lucent patents with its Windows Media Player, including the version in the new Vista operating system. Microsoft pledged to challenge the verdict.

The decision allows Alcatel-Lucent, the world's biggest maker of communications equipment, to seek an order barring Microsoft from using the patented technology. Alactel-Lucent's victory also may clear the way for legal actions against hundreds of companies that rely on MP3, the standard for playing music and sound files on a computer, mobile phone or digital-music player.

''The damages award seems particularly outrageous when you consider we paid Fraunhofer only $16 million to license this technology,'' Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Tom Burt said in an e-mailed statement. ''Today's outcome is therefore disappointing for us and for the hundreds of other companies who have licensed MP3 technology.''

Microsoft, which had almost $29 billion in cash and short- term investments as of Dec. 31, said it will ask U.S. District Judge Rudi M. Brewster to overturn the verdict and will seek further review in an appeals court if necessary.

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bloomberg.com
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Maddens Raiders3618d ago

Billy G. has this amount under his sofa cushions in the basement. I don't think the judge will be able to resist the crooning, begging, and grooming that MS will lay on him. MS's people make Washington lobbyists look like teenagers begging for the carkeys on a Friday night. The ruling looks foreboding for the software giant in the short run, but there's an 'ol saying in the U.S.

Money talks and Bull$hit walks.

drfunkenstein3618d ago (Edited 3618d ago )

Though this is surely less than Gates has in petty cash available to him, this amount of cash handed out in an IP lawsuit is enormous -- especially in that it was only over two patents. I have done work at what is considered a prestige IP law firm (college kid, work summers/winters) and know that 1.52 billion is CRAZY. My firm was involved once in a case that exceeded 600 million in damages and at that time and still now it is among the top 10 highest pay-outs by a jury in U.S. history. 1.52 is absurd, this won't fly.

MS will not pay this amount, they will demand a retrial -- most likely in a different district. That is the way big IP cases go. There will likeley be a continuous back and forth onslaught of complaints causing years long litigation war between the two. Ultimately, after three-six cases they will reach some settlement due to each case itself costing each party well into the millions of dollars.

power of Green 3618d ago

Just kidding your bubbles seem to say your not as true as a gamer as one would hope. You might say you lean towards eing a super Sony fan(wolf in sheeps clothing). Have you ever posted bad news about Sony/Ps3?.

True Gamer3618d ago (Edited 3618d ago )

I own both the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

The reason I defend the PS3 so much is because fanboys bash it 24/7 in this site.

If people bashed the Xbox 360 I would defend it as well.

Bathyj3618d ago

I agree true gamer. I only have X360 (29 sleeps to go) but I find myself defending PS3 all the time as well because its constantly getting bashed. If this story was about Sony being sued for a Billion there would be 100 comments on it by now. Haha Sonys doomed. They suck. You know, that sort of intelligent, constructive imput. I bet Gamespot never even reported this story today.......... Just checked, No they didn't. They did report M$ hired a retired EA exec as a consultant, I guess that was the bigger story.

Chexd3618d ago

? why should MS have to pay that much in damages? It does seem a little unreasonable. Just because they can doesn't mean its fair.

Chexd3618d ago (Edited 3618d ago )

same!

EDIT: The reply feature seems broken, thats the second time i tried to reply.....

Sphinx3618d ago

I like playing the devil's advocate, too... sometimes.

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