Microsoft Ordered To Pay Alcatel-Lucent $70 Million

Posted Aug 1, 2011

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been ordered to pay Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) $70 million in a patent dispute. At one time, the patent dispute may have costed Microsoft $1.5 billion.

Microsoft Outlook is one of the software platforms that violates the patents according to a jury in San Diego. In 2007, a jury at the same court ordered Microsoft to pay $1.5 billion for infringement, but the judge overturned the decision saying that only one of two patents were at issue while another one was jointly owned by a European research institute. This did not give the court jurisdiction to rule on it.

Lucent appealed that decision, but a federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision. The companies then settled most of the claims. The award against Microsoft grew to $511 million before a new trial was ordered.

“This [latest] trial came about after the Federal Circuit ordered a new trial on damages, overturning an original judgment of over $500 million for the same patent,” said Microsoft. “Today’s verdict reflects a positive trend in the law of patent damages stemming from the Federal Circuit’s earlier opinion in this and other cases.”

“However, we continue to maintain that current law requires a genuine apportionment of damages when the infringement is directed to a small feature of a feature-rich product, and we are reviewing the verdict in that light and considering next steps,” added Microsoft.