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One point each for Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent in patent dispute

Posted: 07 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft? Alcatel-Lucent? MP3 technology? patent infringement? MP3 audio technology?

Several days after a jury ordered Microsoft to pay $1.5 billion in damages to Alcatel-Lucent for infringing patents pertaining to MP3 audio technology, a federal judge has dismissed a related suit.

Judge Rudi Brewster of the U.S. District Court for San Diego tossed one of Alcatel-Lucent's five remaining claims that Microsoft's Windows Media Player, Messenger and other programs infringe on its speech-recognition patent.

"This ruling reaffirms our confidence that once there's a judicial review of these complex patent cases, these Alcatel-Lucent claims ultimately won't stand up," Microsoft officials said in a statement on Brewster's ruling. Alcatel-Lucent said it plans to appeal the decision.

Brewster's ruling applies to only one of the six patent claims Alcatel-Lucent has filed against Microsoft. On Feb. 22, a jury that heard the first case ruled in favor of Alcatel-Lucent and awarded $1.5 billion in damages. The next trial is scheduled for late May, with the remaining three claims to be heard in the months following.

Microsoft is also fighting a patent suit brought by a former IBM scientist who claims that the network identity management systems used by some of its Active Directory customers, including Charles Schwab, General Motors, and Halliburton, violate a 7-year-old patent he holds.

- Paul McDougall

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