Verdict spares Microsoft $358M in patent damages

Sep 11, 2009 By JESSICA MINTZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- A federal appeals court said Friday that Microsoft Corp. does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent $358 million for patent infringement because of problems with how the damages were calculated.

The disputed patent covers a method of entering information into fields on a computer screen without using a keyboard. Alcatel-Lucent says Microsoft's Outlook calendar and other programs illegally used this technology.

A U.S. District Court jury determined that damages should roughly equal what would have paid up front to license the technology from Alcatel-Lucent. But Friday, the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit said the telecommunications company didn't prove its technology was valuable enough to have merited $358 million in royalties.

The appeals court judges told a district court to reconsider the penalty.

Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said in an e-mail that the company was disappointed with the decision.

However, in the same ruling, the judges affirmed the underlying verdict against Microsoft, saying it was supported by substantial evidence.

Microsoft shares were down 5 cents at $24.95 in afternoon trading Friday. Alcatel-Lucent was up 16 cents, 4.1 percent, at $4.05.

This patent suit is the last of six stemming from claims that Lucent Technologies Inc. filed in 2003 against PC makers Gateway Inc. and Dell Inc. over technology developed by Bell Labs, Lucent's research arm. Microsoft later joined the list of defendants.

France's Alcatel bought Lucent in 2006.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: NEC says swings back to profit after smartphone overhaul

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft asks court to hold off on Word ban

Aug 19, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to allow it to keep selling Word software as it fights an unfavorable patent ruling.

Alcatel, Lucent pull trigger on big merger

Apr 03, 2006

Sunday's merger of France's Alcatel and U.S. telecom manufacturer Lucent will be finalized in six to 12 months, assuming regulatory approval is granted.

Microsoft ordered to pay $388 mln in patent case

Apr 09, 2009

A federal jury ordered US software giant Microsoft on Wednesday to pay 388 million dollars to Uniloc for infringing on an anti-piracy software patent held by the Singapore- and US-based company.

Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

May 04, 2007

A U.S. appeals court denies a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications.

Recommended for you

Mashable gets $17 mn funding led by Time Warner

45 minutes ago

Mashable, a news website focused on technology and entertainment, said Thursday it raised $17 million in capital led by Time Warner Investments, to help fuel expansion plans.

Nokia turns to fourth quarter profit buoyed by strong growth

9 hours ago

Nokia made a net profit of 443 million euros ($502 million) in the fourth quarter and sales grew nearly 10 percent, but its share price fell Thursday as the results were offset by a poor performance in some regions, higher ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.