Court favours Microsoft in Alca-Lu MP3 case

A US appeals court ruled thatMicrosoft does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent €1.03 billion (US$1.5 billion) in a patent infringement case, an AFP report said.

The AFP report said the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a 25-page ruling, upheld the August 2007 decision of a lower court that Microsoft did not violate MP3 digital audio patents in its Windows Media Player software.

'We affirm the district court's dismissal of the infringement claims,' the court said.

The appeals court agreed with the district court in southern California that Microsoft did not infringe one patent and had paid Munich-based licensing firm Fraunhofer Gesellschaft €11.07 million (US$16 million) to legally use another, the AFP report said.

The firm then known only as Lucent filed a 15-patent suit in 2003 against computer makers Dell and Gateway for allegedly selling machines with Microsoft software that used Lucent technology without permission.

Microsoft weighed into the case to protect its partnerships with computer makers and to stop the litigation from being broadened to other companies using Microsoft software.

In 2007, a jury awarded a then-record €1.03 billion (US$1.5 billion) in damages to Alcatel-Lucent but the verdict was overturned later that year by a US District Court based in San Diego, California.

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