Skip to comments.Microsoft hit with $1.5B in damages
Posted on 02/22/2007 1:51:38 PM PST by Sub-Driver
Microsoft hit with $1.5B in damages
By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Business Writer 26 minutes ago
Microsoft Corp. on Thursday lost the first of six patent lawsuits brought by Paris-based telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, and a federal district court jury set damages at $1.5 billion.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker said the patents in question govern the conversion of audio into the digital MP3 file format on personal computers.
Alcatel-Lucent filed 15 patent claims against PC makers Gateway Inc. and Dell Inc. in 2003. Microsoft later agreed to replace those defendants, saying it got involved because the patents were closely tied to its Windows operating system.
The company said a judge threw out two of the patent claims, and scheduled six separate trials to consider the remaining disputes. The case that was just decided went to court in San Diego on Jan. 29.
"We think this verdict is completely unsupported by the law or the facts," said Tom Burt, a Microsoft deputy general counsel. "We believe that we properly licensed MP3 technology from its industry recognized licenser Fraunhofer. The damages award seems particularly outrageous when you consider we paid Fraunhofer only $16 million to license this technology."
In response to the verdict, Alcatel-Lucent SA spokeswoman Mary Lou Ambrus said, "We've made strong arguments supporting our view, and we are pleased with the court's decision."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Pffft, simply pay for it out of petty cash.
That's a ridiculous award. Recently, the Supreme Court reminded us that the validity of software patents has not yet been tested there. Here's hoping...
They chose the wrong jury.
Absolutely silly. There is no way that patent was worth anywhere near that. If that patent was worth that, all the patents that go into a computer would be worth millions of trillions of dollars. Pure anti-microsoft bias. The ruling can not stand.
The one bundled in windows named Disk Defragmenter is a much stripped down version and is a mere 10% of the full commercial version that Executive Software sells.
Totally unrealistic award there.
The original suit was not against MS, it was against PC makers. The frogs are merely trying to "RIAA" the U.S. computer industry.
To be fair, the question is about the representation of the software (i.e what is on a CD) versus using the software, the later requiring a computer to execute the software. The mere existence of the code may not be patent infringement, but the use of the code can be as exemplified in:
MR. OLSON [For Microsoft]: The '580 patent is a program, as I understand it, that's married to a computer, has to be married to a computer in order to be patented.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.