A federal jury in San Diego has ordered Microsoft to pay $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent in a patent dispute over MP3 audio technology used in Windows. In its verdict, the jury assessed damages based on each Windows PC sold since May 2003. The case could have broader implications, should Alcatel-Lucent pursue claims against other companies that use the widespread MP3 technology. An Alcatel-Lucent representative praised the ruling.
"Praised the ruling" hardly seems to do it justice. It's not every day your company makes $1.5bn from its IPR!
The jury decision is certainly not the end of the matter. The article in cNet News points out parallel patent disputes involving Lucent and Microsoft. With such huge sums at stake, the IP lawyers are having a field day.
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