Microsoft to pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.5b in patent dispute

Software giant Microsoft lost the first of six patent lawsuits brought by Alcatel-Lucent, and a federal district court jury set damages at $1.5 billion, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the patents in question govern the conversion of audio into the digital MP3 file format on personal computers.

The report said Alcatel-Lucent filed 15 patent claims against PC makers Gateway and Dell in 2003. Microsoft later agreed to replace those defendants, saying it got involved because the patents were closely tied to its Windows operating system.

The company said a judge threw out two of the patent claims, and scheduled six separate trials to consider the remaining disputes. The case that was just decided went to court in San Diego on Jan. 29.

In response to the verdict, Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Lou Ambrus said, 'We've made strong arguments supporting our view, and we are pleased with the court's decision,' the Associated Press report said.