Judge Says Jury Screwed Up In Awarding Alcatel-Lucent $1.5 Billion From Microsoft For MP3 Patents

from the so-sorry-about-that dept

Back in February, a jury told Microsoft to pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.5 billion for supposedly violating some patents Alcatel-Lucent held on MP3 technology. The case helped highlight the patent thicket around MP3 technologies, as Microsoft had licensed the technology from the creator of the MP3 technology, Fraunhofer. Back in May, as the judge was considering what to do about the jury's award, Alcatel-Lucent actually claimed that $1.5 billion wasn't enough. It appears the judge not only didn't buy that story, but didn't buy the jury's reasoning either. Today he threw out the jury's ruling, noting that Microsoft doesn't even infringe on one of the patents in question, and the other one is jointly owned by Fraunhofer, and therefore Microsoft has a legitimate license to it already. As the judge said, "The jury's verdict was against the clear weight of the evidence." As you might imagine, Alcatel-Lucent is not happy about this, calling the ruling "shocking and disturbing." So, there is likely going to be a long appeals process. However, this is the second time in recent weeks that we're seeing courts take a more reasonable approach on patents. Hopefully, it's the start of a trend.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:11pm

    Juror#1: Fuck microsoft
    Juror#2: Yeah lets make them pay like a billion dollars LOL
    Juror#3: LMAO 1.5 BILLION

    case ajourned

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:40pm

    Juror#4 MacOSX Rules, Microsoft sucks
    Juror#5 Unix geeks are the best in bed
    Juror#6 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz huh what?

     

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    Observer, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    RE: Anonymous Coward

    You need to get a life....

     

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    pissed off, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    Why don't we just get rid of juries and save us all the hassle?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:58pm

    admit it Mr. Pissed Off (if that's even your name!)

    You just don't enjoy being called in for jury duty.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 1:39am

    "By a jury of your peers" my ass...

    I bet not ONE of those jury members had committed $1.5bn worth of patent infringement.

    Damn court system and its lies...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:55am

    it's a relief to see some reason and judgment being inserted into a process that has reached some impressive heights of ridiculousness. I applaud any judge who rules that just because someone holds a patent on "a covering shaped to fit the foot (below the ankle) with a flexible upper of leather, cloth, or plastic and a sole and heel of heavier material" doesn't mean we should all start going barefoot.

     

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    Bah who needs one, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:51am

    It's nice that we're seeing the courts take a more reasonable view of patents. It's just such a shame that in this case the beneficiary is just about the world's least deserving, most unsympathetic defendant: Microsoft. :P

     

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      Joe Smith, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:30am

      Re: Measure of justice

      It's nice that we're seeing the courts take a more reasonable view of patents. It's just such a shame that in this case the beneficiary is just about the world's least deserving, most unsympathetic defendant: Microsoft. :P

      The measure of any justice system is its ability to give the Devil himself a fair trial.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 9:22pm

        Re: Re: Measure of justice

        "The measure of any justice system is its ability to give the Devil himself a fair trial."

        Wise words. And how many Americans actually belive it?

        Pray for our country.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:14am

    That's balance for you...

    The patent system is in serious need of reform and decisions like these are a good start. But if the system is reformed then not only are law abiding corporations (don't laugh I'm sure there's out there somewhere) benifitting but the not so law abiding corporations are benifitting as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 9:05am

    why have a juries, if a judge can overrule them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Judge Says Jury System Doesn't Work

    That about sums it up. Except when poor people are involved. Then juries are just fine.

     

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