Patent Terrorists Lose Big In MP3 Case Against Microsoft
The US Senior District Court has ruled that Microsoft does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.5 Billion dollars for technology used to encode and decode digital audio files in the Windows Media Player. The French concern claimed that the technology infringed on two of its patents. The ruling overturned a previous jury verdict in a lower court.
Yesterday’s the judge issued a ruling “in favor of Microsoft and against Lucent, terminating the case,” according to court documents. “Today’s ruling by the judge reversing the jury’s 1.52 billion dollar verdict against Microsoft is a victory for consumers of digital music and a triumph for common sense in the patent system,” said Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith chest-pounded.
Microsoft’s defense was that it had paid Munich-based licensing firm Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft 16 million dollars to legally use the disputed MP3 technology. Alcatel-Lucent have been suing Microsoft for a variety of alleged patent infringements including speech recognition. It appears the concern is hell bent capitalizing on the outdated American patent system by terrorizing the American software giant until they bleed green.
If Alcatel-Lucent would have prevailed, the decision could have opening up a whole new can of worms since any music company that utilizes the format may have been subject to substantial back royalty payments. EMI, who have been releasing portions of their catalog in the DRM-free format, would have especially been hard hit.