Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

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.

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  • identicon
    Rusty, 17 May 2007 @ 3:57am

    Lawyers suck

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    n00b, 17 May 2007 @ 5:26am

    Open Source / Free Compression Codec

    Is there a standards-based, open source, free music compression format that we could start promoting the makers of all things music adopt? If so, let's do it. If not, why couldn't someone (Linus, anyone?) smarter than me create one and gift it to the world? Just a thought, and probably not a new one...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ScaredOfTheMan, 17 May 2007 @ 5:38am

    OGG is Free....

    "Ogg Vorbis is a completely open, patent-free, professional audio encoding and streaming technology with all the benefits of Open Source."

    "The Ogg Vorbis specification is in the public domain. It is completely free for commercial or noncommercial use. That means that commercial developers may independently write Ogg Vorbis software which is compatible with the specification for no charge and without restrictions of any kind. However, the software packages we have developed are available under various free/open-source software licenses with varying allowances and restrictions."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Fred Flint, 17 May 2007 @ 7:49am

      Re: OGG is Free....

      Well, it's free for now and it works great on my Linux box but hang on - some scumbag lawyer (possibly at Micro$oft), even as we speak is submitting a patent that is very close to OGG, very close indeed.

      Stand by for a multi-million dollar lawsuit, coming real soon now - as soon as the lawyers can figure out who has enough money to make it worth while raiding or simply shutting down.

      You'd think they could save a lot of time and effort, just suing everyone who ever had anything to do with open source and/or Linux.

      Oh, wait... Micro$oft is already doing that. Nevermind!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James M. Susanka, 17 May 2007 @ 6:35am

    we should all be using ogg

    we should all be using ogg and do away with mp3

    so start pushing it whenever and wherever you can.

    it is silly to be held hostage to these formats that are being held for ransom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2007 @ 10:42am

    There's a very simple answer to this problem...if everyone boycoots alcatel-lucent and causes it to collapse then other companies may think twice before launching these silly time-wasting lawsuits. (where the cost is passed on to the customer but never any end-benefits)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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