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Microsoft ordered to pay $1.52B in patent suit

Jury says the software maker infringed on Alcatel-Lucent patents related to digital music technology.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A federal jury said Thursday that software maker Microsoft Corp. infringed audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent and should pay $1.52 billion in damages.

Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, said the verdict was unsupported by law or facts.

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"Today's outcome is disappointing for us and for the hundreds of other companies who have licensed MP3 technology.

"We will seek relief from the trial court, and if necessary appeal," Burt said.

"(This case) will go on for a long time," said Sid Parakh, an analyst with McAdams Wright Ragen. "I don't see any near term impact on Microsoft."

"It's not like Microsoft has to pay out the cash tomorrow," he added.

Alcatel-Lucent had accused Microsoft of infringing on patents related to standards used for playing computer music files.

"We made strong arguments supporting our view and we are pleased with the court's decision," an Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman said.

The decision is latest move in a series of patent infringement lawsuits between Microsoft and Lucent, which Alcatel acquired in November.

Shares of Microsoft (up $0.03 to $29.39, Charts) edged lower in late trade Thursday, while Alcatel-Lucent (up $0.07 to $13.14, Charts) gained nearly 1 percent.

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