Microsoft sues Lucent in old dispute

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Lucent Technologies in federal court in San Diego on Tuesday that stems from a patent dispute that dates back to last June.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, seeks to invalidate 13 Lucent patents involving audio and video coding. It was assigned to Judge Judith N. Keep as Case No. 03-CV-699, according to a court clerk.

Lucent spokeswoman Mary Lou Ambrus said the Microsoft suit is "without merit." She also said that Lucent will continue to seek reasonable compensation for what it believes is use of its intellectual property by Dell Computer and Gateway, two Microsoft customers.

Lucent filed suit against Dell this February and Gateway last June, saying they had infringed on several patents from the Bell Laboratories subsidiary of Lucent, Ambrus said. After those filings, the PC makers asked Microsoft to protect them from damages, since the technologies involved appear to be within Microsoft's products.

Microsoft's attorney, Chris Marchese, could not be reached for comment.

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