Microsoft Gets Mixed Ruling in Latest Alcatel-Lucent Case

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Microsoft received a mixed ruling in the latest round of lawsuits between it and Alcatel-Lucent.

This time, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California found that Microsoft did not infringe on an Alcatel-Lucent patent covering video encoding technology. "We are gratified that the jury found Microsoft did not infringe Alcatel-Lucent's video encoding patent and rejected Alcatel-Lucent's exorbitant US$419 million damages claim," said Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, in an e-mailed statement.

The jury also upheld four Microsoft patents, but found that Alcatel-Lucent didn't infringe them, and found one Microsoft patent invalid. Microsoft had been seeking damages of $9.5 million on five patent claims.

Alcatel-Lucent judged that ruling as a victory. "We believed from the beginning that Microsoft patent infringement allegations against Alcatel-Lucent were without merit and we presented a strong defensive argument. We are pleased that the jury agreed with us on this, and we appreciate the jury's time and the careful and thoughtful analysis they gave to this case," the company said in a statement.

Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment on the ruling regarding the video encoding patent, referring questions to the Multimedia Patent Trust, which now owns the relevant patent.

The video encoding case dates back to 2003 when Lucent charged Microsoft, Dell and Gateway with patent infringement concerning technologies in Windows and other video playback products, such as Windows Media Player.

In April, a jury in the same San Diego court found that Microsoft had infringed on two Alcatel-Lucent patents involving user interface technology and ordered Microsoft to pay $367 million. Microsoft is hoping to have the verdict overturned.

Last year, a court reversed a $1.5 billion patent-infringement ruling against Microsoft in another Alcatel-Lucent case.

The companies are also battling it out elsewhere. In May, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Alcatel-Lucent had not infringed on Microsoft patents related to unified communications.

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