Alcatel-Lucent Demands More Money From Microsoft; Desperate Ploy To Settle?
from the sounds-like-someone-wants-out dept
With the recent Supreme Court decisions concerning patents, one thing that people noticed was that it would probably greatly reduce the amount Microsoft owed Alcatel-Lucent for patent infringement concerning the MP3 patents Alcatel-Lucent claims to hold. Apparently, Alcatel-Lucent recognizes this as well. In order to fend that off, it looks like it’s making a big push to settle by pretending that Microsoft actually owes much more than the $1.5 billion the original ruling provided. Alcatel-Lucent is including more for “prejudgment” and “postjudgment” interest, and also demanding $5.64 for every future infringing sale. This is silly, and Alcatel-Lucent’s lawyers know this. However, if they can keep pushing the number higher, it may reach a point where Microsoft’s shareholders push the company to simply settle, just to remove the uncertainty. This is exactly what happened in the RIM-NTP case, where RIM shareholders pushed the company to settle, even as the US Patent Office was in the process of invalidating the patents. Given the ridiculous patent thicket around MP3 technology, this whole mess should awaken a few more people to the many ways that the patent system is being used to hold back, rather than promote, innovation. This latest push by Alcatel-Lucent comes across as nothing more than a last-ditch effort to convince Microsoft to settle before the scales shift even further against abusing the patent system this way.