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Alcatel-Lucent Awarded $1.5 Billion from Microsoft over MP3 Patents

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by Teh Don Ditty, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Reuters - MSFT infringed on audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent.
  2. macrumors 68040




    Ouch! That's going to hurt no matter how rich a company you are.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Hehehe, sorry, that makes me laugh. Good times.
  4. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    I have a feeling that apple will be next. M$ just happens to be the first one hit because they are the largest. You do not want M$ to lose because then apple will be paying out the rear as well for the same thing. (a long with a very long list of other companies.
  5. macrumors regular

    Too bad, Microsoft was/is working closely with the Alcatel side for VoP services. That might hurt that relationship.
  6. macrumors bot


    Alcatel-Lucent Awarded $1.5 Billion from Microsoft over MP3 Patents


    CNet reports that Microsoft has been hit with a $1.5 billion patent verdict over MP3 audio technology used in Windows since 2003.

    Microsoft reportedly licensed the technology from Fraunhofer, a company that helped develop MP3 compression alongside Lucent's Bell Labs. The decision is of particular interest to other technology companies who have licensed MP3 technology from Fraunhofer (now Thomson). This includes hundreds of companies including Apple.

    PC World notes that this is the first of six patent lawsuits currently underway by Lucent. The remaining lawsuits directed at Microsoft cover speech pattern technology, user interface patents, Xbox 360 technology, and video technologies.

    Microsoft, of course, has stated they "will seek relief from the trial court, and if necessary, appeal".
  7. macrumors 6502a



    Wow, that's a LOT of money.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Could this explain the price of Vista? :eek:
  9. macrumors member

    Ouch! That's gotta hurt.
  10. macrumors 68020


    HaHa, Woot
  11. macrumors 6502a


    I sure hope Apple isn't next on the list... :confused:
  12. macrumors 603

    As much as I want to see Microsoft punished in any way possible (even if they didn't do anything wrong, they've gotten away with enough historically to deserve it), I don't think this is a good think. Software patents can end up causing absolutely stupid lawsuits and do little but slow development of good (and often free) technologies.

    If you don't want to license your API, that's one thing. But preventing somebody from using a method of doing things because you thought of it first is seriously counterproductive. And if you ARE going to allow software patents, they should be very short-lived, like drug patents, so you don't have asinine things like unlicensed GIF compressors being illegal for 20 years.
  13. Guest


    no way apple is next
  14. macrumors regular

    I agree completely.
  15. macrumors P6


    i hope not also! but i don't think they are....i like to think positive :)

    bad news for microsoft......i bet ballmer's raging mad...haha:apple:
  16. macrumors 603


    No, I think it'll happen. Like a poster said above, Microsoft was just first.:(
  17. macrumors 6502

    Do we know that Apple hasn't licensed the technology from Alcatel-Lucent?
  18. macrumors 603


    You are a very petty person. :rolleyes:
  19. macrumors 603


    I have been following this because Lucent was "partners" with the licensing firm. Therefore one would think one partner "speaks for the other" under "partnership and joint-venture" law.

    This is distressing because the various licensees acted in "good faith" (yes including Apple) and are still "liable". This could be a defect in the law, a jury gone wild, most likely bad jury instructions or worse, a case of double dipping of fees supported by law.

    In any case this clearly implies liability to Apple too.

    The award was relatively small considering the scope of the claims, but at what point do contracts and fees matter at all? It has not yet been detected.

    Was there even an offset considered and was it the fees paid, or the distributed percentage of the rights licensed for?

    MANY aspects for appeal here.

  20. macrumors 68020


    Depends who they licensed from.
  21. macrumors 6502

    How Lucent has fallen

    Just goes to show how far Lucent has fallen. Rather than try
    to make money on their actual products, which have been failing horribly.
    They are trawling their large patent pool and trying to make money off the back of other companies success.

    I'd be quite embarrassed to be working for Lucent right now... they are
    scum in my eyes.

    Cheers, Ed.
  22. macrumors member

    Do you suppose that if that happens, then MS will complain about being the only company that got sued? LOL. I'd like to think positive but that sadly won't help change the outcome of things. If they do, we'll have to see if Apple made the same mistake. They are usually careful but no one is perfect.
  23. Retired


    Just thinking...that 0.02 billion rounded off for the thread title is an awful lot of money...
  24. macrumors member

    How can anybody rate this as positive? Because Microsoft is evil evil evil company and deserves it? Definitely not.. I don't like these "sue them all" actions

    it can turn against Apple as well...
  25. Retired


    I agree...but microsoft-bashing is fun...

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