1.53 Billion Verdict Against Microsoft Approved

    May 4, 2007

A judge approved a February ruling against Microsoft, ordering the company to pay $1.53 billion to Alcatel-Lucent to end a degital music patent lawsuit. A jury had decided that Windows Media Player infringed on Lucent’s patents, and the judge just decided that Microsoft has to pay it. Microsoft has a hearing on June 20 to get this week’s Supreme Court ruling to get the judgement to only apply to U.S. sales of Windows, which would probably knock over $800 million off the judgement.

Another patent lawsuit against Microsoft by Lucent starts May 21.

In 2003, Lucent filed 15 patent claims against Gateway and Dell for technology developed by Bell Labs, its research arm.

In April 2003, Microsoft added itself to the list of defendants, saying the patents were closely tied to its Windows operating system.

A judge threw out two of the 2003 patent claims and scheduled six separate trials to consider the remaining disputes. The PC makers are still defendants.

In the latest trial, Microsoft disputed that Alcatel-Lucent’s patents govern its MP3 encoding and decoding tools, and said it licensed the MP3 software used by its Windows Media Player from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a German company.

A lawsuit over two patents for computer user-interface technology brought by Lucent against Microsoft, Dell and Gateway, is due to go to trial May 21, Ambrus said.

(via Digg)