updated 11:10 pm EDT, Fri April 4, 2008
MS to Pay Alcatel 368m
Microsoft late on Friday was asked by a US federal court to pay $368 million in compensation to Alcatel-Lucent over alleged infringement of two patents relating to touchscreen form and stylus technologies. Although the plaintiff had demanded $1.75 billion and initially accused Microsoft of infringing four patents, a jury in the San Diego courtroom has reduced the amount after deciding that Microsoft is not culpable of violating two video control-related patents.
While Alcatel-Lucent says it's pleased with those infringement verdicts it has won, Microsoft said it's dissatisfied with the results and that it will appeal the court's findings, citing its earlier victory in reversing a $1.5 billion award to Alcatel-Lucent last year over claimed infringement of MP3 audio patents that are co-owned by the Fraunhofer Institute, which did not join in any of the legal actions itself.
"We do not believe the jury's verdict against Microsoft on the two user interface patents is supported by the facts or the law," says Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Tom Burt.
Dell is also considered responsible for infringing one of the patents and is tasked with paying $51,000 to Alcatel, although a spokeswoman noted that Microsoft is expected to assume responsibility for paying its share of the costs.
Alcatel-Lucent initially filed several patent lawsuits against Dell, Gateway, and Microsoft beginning from 2002 onward, all of which were merged and then split into several different complaints. Dell has argued that the suits filed against itself were filed too late and thus are invalid.