updated 06:50 pm EDT, Fri July 29, 2011
Microsoft again said violating Alcatel-Lucent tech
A San Diego federal court found on Friday that Microsoft had to pay Alcatel-Lucent $70 million for allegedly violating a long fought-over patent. Jurors decided that Outlook copied a patent for a touchscreen form. Microsoft had been hoping to keep the damage down to $5 million if it lost, arguing that the patent covered a minor element of picking a date, but the court took Alcatel's view that the feature played a "central role."
Among the evidence Alcatel brought was that Outlook was the most commonly used Office app. Without the form entry feature, Outlook wouldn't have been as popular, Alcatel attorney Luke Dauchot said.
Microsoft through its lawyer Juanita Brooks had claimed that the lawsuit was just a money grab from a company frustrated with low income from patent licenses.
The verdict wraps up a years-long conflict between the two companies. Alcatel had won a $358 million penalty against Microsoft in 2008 over the patent. Microsoft had the amount overturned a year later but was only given the opportunity to lower the damages, not to avoid damages altogether.