Microsoft Loses Ancient Patent Lawsuit Against Alcatel-Lucent; Must Shell Out $70 Million

Back in 2003 when most of us were kids, and Facebook and Twitter did not yet exist, Alcatel-Lucent, a telecommunication equipment manufacturer from France had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft.

Alcatel-Lucent claimed Microsoft was infringing on its patents related to touch screen form entry in applications such as Microsoft Outlook, among others.

In 2008, Alcatel-Lucent won the lawsuit and was awarded $358 millon in damages. However, Microsoft appealed against the verdict and managed to get a retrial to reassess the damages.

Today, according to a report by Bloomberg, a federal jury ruled that Microsoft would have to pay $70 million in damages. Alcatel-Lucent had asked for about $75 million while Microsoft asked the jury to limit the amount to only $5 million.

    Alcatel-Lucent is obviously pleased with the verdict and the jury’s recognition in the value of the Day patent that Microsoft infringed,said Luke Dauchot, a lawyer for Alcatel-Lucent.

This new verdict is much more favorable for Microsoft than the original ruling that required them to pay $358 million in damages.

    “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. We are reviewing the verdict in that light and considering next steps.” said David Howard, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel.

Microsoft has been involved in a lot of patent lawsuits lately. It stands to make more than a billion dollars in patent licensing fees and damages off Android. It is also a major investor in Intellectual Ventures, infamously known as the world’s largest patent troll.

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