Jury Finds Microsoft Infringed On MP3 Standards Patent
February 23, 2007 at 9:24 AM (PT)
A U.S. federal jury found today that MICROSOFT CORP. infringed audio patents held by ALCATEL-LUCENT and should pay $1.52 billion in damages. MICROSOFT said it plans to first ask the trial judge to knock down the ruling and will appeal if necessary. It said the verdict is unsupported by the law and that it had already licensed the technology in question from GERMANY's FRAUNHOFER.
ALCATEL-LUCENT had accused the world's biggest software maker of infringing patents related to standards used for playing MP3 digital music files. One analyst said the decision means ALCATEL-LUCENT may seek payments from providers of software and hardware that support MP3 files, including APPLE's iPOD and iTUNES.
Other companies that ALCATEL-LUCENT could go after include MP3 player makers SONY CORP., CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES LTD. and music service provider NAPSTER INC.