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MS to pay Alcatel-Lucent $368m in touch suit

updated 11:10 pm EDT, Fri April 4, 2008

MS to Pay Alcatel 368m

Microsoft late on Friday was asked by a US federal court to pay $368 million in compensation to Alcatel-Lucent over alleged infringement of two patents relating to touchscreen form and stylus technologies. Although the plaintiff had demanded $1.75 billion and initially accused Microsoft of infringing four patents, a jury in the San Diego courtroom has reduced the amount after deciding that Microsoft is not culpable of violating two video control-related patents.

While Alcatel-Lucent says it's pleased with those infringement verdicts it has won, Microsoft said it's dissatisfied with the results and that it will appeal the court's findings, citing its earlier victory in reversing a $1.5 billion award to Alcatel-Lucent last year over claimed infringement of MP3 audio patents that are co-owned by the Fraunhofer Institute, which did not join in any of the legal actions itself.

"We do not believe the jury's verdict against Microsoft on the two user interface patents is supported by the facts or the law," says Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Tom Burt.

Dell is also considered responsible for infringing one of the patents and is tasked with paying $51,000 to Alcatel, although a spokeswoman noted that Microsoft is expected to assume responsibility for paying its share of the costs.

Alcatel-Lucent initially filed several patent lawsuits against Dell, Gateway, and Microsoft beginning from 2002 onward, all of which were merged and then split into several different complaints. Dell has argued that the suits filed against itself were filed too late and thus are invalid.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rjriley5000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft Reaps What They

    Has it occurred to anyone that Microsoft is getting sued because they have a big appetite for other's patent property and a big ego that gets in the way of acquiring the rights to the patent properties they need to succeed in the market?

    Have you considered that Microsoft gets sued after they have refused a legitimate offer for a license?

    Or have you considered that Microsoft's membership in the Coalition for Patent fairness and PIRACY, aka. the Piracy Coalition is a good indication that birds of a feather do flock together?

    Some companies start as inventors, and some start as parasites on those who have invented. Eventually they end up alike, one group never being inventive and the second losing the ability to invent as they age. Both will try to substitute quantity in patent filing for the quality of inventions they are incapable of producing. It does not work.

    All Piracy Coalition members fit one of these profiles. Tech companies who are past their prime, insurance and banking collectively have no shame!

    What they very good at producing is innovative media hype which obfuscates the reality of their existence. Their multi-million dollar "troll" campaign is a perfect example of this. They paint their victims as "trolls" while the courts are finding their conduct so egregious that they are handing down staggering judgments which are generally being upheld by higher courts. This is what happens to those who are caught lying, cheating, and stealing and no amount of public relations painting their victims as evil "trolls" can change the facts of these cases.

    Personally I think that it is a shame that Piracy Coalition members have failed to learn the lesson that inventors and the courts are teaching. It is all about conducting one’s business in an ethical manner!

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf. Affiliations: President - - RJR at Executive Director - - RJR at Senior Fellow - President - Alliance for American Innovation Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel Washington, DC Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does anyone else see the irony in the phrase, "M$ late on Friday was asked by a US federal court..."?

    It never seems like the full force of the law is applied to M$, even when they're officially found guilty of some of the shady practices that it's been flaunting for years.

    The EU was one thing- it's a foreign court that M$ can afford to ignore for a while because it could at least survive off of business in the states, and it's not like you can send the whole company to jail or take funds out of their account. Something tells me that Balmer wouldn't do so well there. The US judicial system is something all-together different.

    I wonder what it will take to force some change if the company's executives are too entrenched in illegal business practices.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: the consumer exp

    I don't understand the reasoning for rich countries such as the USA and Canada where the government hasn't seen the need to step up and regulate the Telecoms so as to stop them from ripping off the consumer.

    So, you want the gov't to intervene when it pleases you, but if they try to regulate anything that affects you (or Apple, like saying that Apple's DRM should be opened up for use on other devices), you'd be blasting them for not letting the marketplace work its way out.

    BTW, some would argue that gov't regulation and interference is why the US has the system it currently has, with most areas having, at most, one choice for high-speed internet.

    Of course, maybe if the gov't also didn't make stupid classifications of service (so, the phone system is a voice service, but cable is a data service, and, as such, are under completely different rules.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If MS wins this it just exemplifies what is wrong with the stock market system. It used to be you invested in a company because you were pleased with their business operations and you could expect a return on investment. If you honestly felt the company was doing the wrong thing, then you asserted your shareholder rights and demanded correction.

    With the advent of day-trading ten years ago, it's turned into a system to extract as much cash out of a company with no concern for long term viability.

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