Friday, February 23, 2007

Microsoft Hit With $1.52 Billion Verdict in MP3 Suit - WSJ.com

Nowhere near over... 

Development of MP3 technology was led by engineers at Bell Laboratories and Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, drawing on patents Bell held on methods for compressing data. (Bell Labs later became a part of Lucent). Microsoft said it paid Fraunhofer $16 million to license the technology.

In April 2003, Microsoft joined the case through a "declaratory action," a suit against Lucent that asked for a ruling that Microsoft and its customers didn't infringe any claims and that the patents Lucent asserted weren't valid. The patents are being reviewed in six separate jury trials in San Diego. The decision yesterday was the first.

Tom Burt, Microsoft's deputy general counsel said the verdict is "completely unsupported by the law or the facts." He said Microsoft will respond by asking the court for relief to set aside all or some of this verdict. "If we don't get relief from the trial court then we will definitely appeal this verdict," Mr. Burt said.

Source: Microsoft Hit With $1.52 Billion Verdict in MP3 Suit - WSJ.com

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