Microsoft Corp. has been cleared of having to pay $1.5 billion in damages to Alcatel-Lucent in a high-profile patent dispute. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday affirmed a lower court's decision that Microsoft did not violate one of Alcatel-Lucent's patents for MP3 digital audio technology, and had a proper license to the other. A jury last year had decided that Microsoft did infringe on Alcatel-Lucent's MP3 patents, and ordered it to pay more than $1.54 billion in damages. The case drew attention from critics concerned about outsized damages being awarded in patent lawsuits common to large technology companies. Microsoft later successfully appealed the decision. See related story. A Microsoft spokesman called Thursday's affirmation of that ruling "a triumph for common sense in the patent system."