Judge reverses Microsoft patent award

A judge reversed a US$1.5 billion damage award against Microsoft in a patent case by Alcatel-Lucent

A federal judge Monday effectively reversed a US$1.5 billion patent-infringement award against Microsoft in a case involving MP3 technology.

Ruling on post-trial motions in a lawsuit by Alcatel-Lucent, Judge Rudi Brewster of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego said one patent in the case wasn't infringed by Microsoft. On the other patent, the court couldn't didn't have jurisdiction because a co-owner of the patent didn't join in the suit.

In February, a jury awarded Alcatel-Lucent US$1.5 billion in damages for infringement of two of its patents covering MP3 audio technology. It was one of six cases involving a series of patent disputes between the two companies. Lucent Technologies had brought the suit in 2003 before it merged with Alcatel.

On Monday, Judge Brewster ruled that Microsoft had not infringed one of the two patents. On the other patent, the judge found that Fraunhofer, a research organization based in Europe, was a co-owner of the patent with Alcatel-Lucent. Because Fraunhofer didn't join in the suit, Brewster's court didn't have jurisdiction over the suit on that patent. Microsoft already licenses the MP3 patents from Fraunhofer, said Microsoft spokesman Guy Esnouf.

Alcatel-Lucent said Monday it will appeal the rulings at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Washington, D.C.

"This reversal of the judge's own pre-trial and post-trial rulings is shocking and disturbing, especially since -- after a three-week trial and four days of careful deliberation -- the jury unanimously agreed with us, and we believe their decision should stand," Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement.

The decisions remove the damage award, Microsoft's Esnouf said. Even if Alcatel-Lucent wins its appeal, both the rate of the royalty and the basis for calculating it -- a percentage of the value of a PC -- will be tried again, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?