PATENT
Internet, technology

A US judge has overturned a jury’s $1.52 billion award in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Alcatel-Lucent against Microsoft. Ruling that Microsoft had not violated one of the two patents in the case, Judge Rudi Brewster overturned the verdict and indicated that the second patent should be revisited as well (possibly by way of a re-trial). The two patents cover MP3 compression; the underlying technology was co-developed by Bell Labs (now Lucent) and German firm Fraunhofer in the 1990s. Bell Labs became Lucent Technologies in 1995 after a spin-off from parent AT&T and was snapped up by French firm Alcatel in 2006. Microsoft says that it licensed the technology from Fraunhofer for $16 million so that it could support MP3 playback natively in Windows. Alcatel-Lucent argued that a license from Fraunhofer was insufficient and that Microsoft had been infringing on its patents for years.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070806-judge-tosses-verdict-1-52-billion-award-in-microsoft-mp3-patent-case.html