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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: mp3s, patents
Companies: alcatel-lucent, microsoft

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.