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U.S. judge overrules verdict on Microsoft-Alcatel case

Posted: 08 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patent infringement case? MP3 technology? digital music?

A U.S. judge has overturned a jury verdict ordering Microsoft to pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.5 billion for infringing on the latter's patents, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Senior district court judge Rudi Brewster, who handled the appeal of the jury trial's outcome, issued a written ruling "in favor of Microsoft and against Lucent... terminating the case," according to court documents.

Microsoft general counsel, Brad Smith commented that the latest ruling is a victory for consumers of digital music and a triumph for common sense in the patent system.

The patent case centered on MP3 audio technology used in the Windows Media Player software. Alcatel-Lucent claimed in court that technology used to encode and decode digital audio files in Media Player infringed on two of its patents.

Microsoft argued that it had paid Munich-based licensing firm Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft $16 million to legally use the disputed MP3 technology.

Brewster concluded in his ruling that Microsoft did not infringe on one of the patents and that Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft should need to join Alcatel-Lucent's infringement suit for it to be valid in court.

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