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Verdict on MP3 Patents Judgement Means Microsoft to Pay $1.52billion

     
12:58 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft was ordered by a federal jury yesterday to pay $1.52 billion in a patent dispute over the MP3 format, the technology at the heart of the digital music boom. If upheld on appeal, it would be the largest patent judgment on record.

The ruling, in Federal District Court in San Diego, was a victory for Alcatel-Lucent, the big networking equipment company. Its forebears include Bell Laboratories, which was involved in the development of MP3 almost two decades ago.

At issue is the way the Windows Media Player software from Microsoft plays audio files using MP3, the most common method of distributing music on the Internet. If the ruling stands, Apple and hundreds of other companies that make products that play MP3 files, including portable players, computers and software, could also face demands to pay royalties to Alcatel.

Verdict on MP3 Patents Judgement Means Microsoft to Pay $1.52billion [nytimes.com]

1:25 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thats a scam if i ever saw one. So basically anyone Fraunhauffer or whoever the heck they were illegally sold licensing to something they didn't own?

I hope microsoft goes after them..

1:52 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No, that means they have to pay to Fraunhofer and Alcatel-Lucent because several patents are involved.
2:45 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When i read the article it appears they backdated a patent after microsoft was granted use and are now suing based on infringement of this backdated patent.

This really has absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft but Lucent cheating the system and scamming Microsoft.

Which means everyone granted use to the MP3 patents is infringing - not just microsoft. Its just microsoft is a ripe target with there surplus of cash compared to VARs and other licensees who wouldn't be worthwhile targets.

6:12 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Looks like the lab itself was worth more than Lucent :-)

Unless there was some punitive damages in there, valuing them at 0.5% of Windows seems a bit too much IMO.

10:06 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I remember a few years back another big-old-and-dying company Unisys tried to sue everyone because of their apparent "GIF" patent. Basically, nothing was ever pursued if I remember correctly.