AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft dodges $358 million patent damages for now

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Sep 2009 21:08 User comments (8)

Microsoft dodges $358 million patent damages for now Microsoft Corp. has dodged paying Alcatel-Lucent damages of $358 million for patent infringement for now. A federal appeals court rules that Microsoft does not have to pay the damages because of errors in how the damages had been calculated.
Alcatel-Lucent had originally said Microsoft's Outlook and other programs illegally infringed on its patent which covers a method of entering information into fields on a computer screen with no Keyboard.

The U.S. District Court jury had determined that damages Microsoft should pay would have to reflect what the company would have paid up front to license the technology. However, the appeals court said that Alcatel-Lucent had failed to prove that its technology was valuable enough to merit royalties of $358 million.

The court judges told a district court to reconsider the penalty, and in the same ruling, affirmed the underlying verdict against Microsoft, which it claimed was backed by substantial evidence. Alcatel-Lucent said it was disappointed with the court's decision.

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8 user comments

111.9.2009 23:45

You have to ask yourself, has microsoft actually created anything for themselves? They have stolen, lied and cheated since the word go and still getting away with it. I was looking on a dutch computer shop recently where the company were offering new business laptops that had Vista pre-installed and the laptop came with a cd to downgrade Vista to XP. he he he he I dont know how microsoft get away with it. Heres our new OS but because its poops you can go back to our old OS for free, its also broken, but not as much as the new one, so take the lesser of the 2 evils and hope for the best,yours sincerely Slick Willy.

212.9.2009 0:25

Figures, if you pirate an MP3, then you can get fined a hundred grand for a track worth $1, and with a "Value" that is probably much less to most people.

But, if you pirate software code for microsoft, and get busted red handed, you don't even have to pay the orriginal price (for the MP3 example, this would be $1). You can negotiate for how much value it brings!


Imagine:
Yes your honor, I pirated 100 MP3s with a price of $1 each. However, it didn't like most of them, so the value to me is only about $30. Instead of paying the $100,000,000 fine decreed by the jury, I will just pay $30.

What do you think this same judge would do to this person?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Sep 2009 @ 0:33

313.9.2009 0:28

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Figures, if you pirate an MP3, then you can get fined a hundred grand for a track worth $1, and with a "Value" that is probably much less to most people.

But, if you pirate software code for microsoft, and get busted red handed, you don't even have to pay the orriginal price (for the MP3 example, this would be $1). You can negotiate for how much value it brings!


Imagine:
Yes your honor, I pirated 100 MP3s with a price of $1 each. However, it didn't like most of them, so the value to me is only about $30. Instead of paying the $100,000,000 fine decreed by the jury, I will just pay $30.

What do you think this same judge would do to this person?
Not to mention negotiate for lower taxes and such..........

413.9.2009 16:35

This arm wrestle will continue and Microsoft will tighten its grip on this company and suffocate it like a snake does its prey :)

518.9.2009 14:43

Software patents are bad for the software industry. Patents increase the cost to compete with large corporations. Small to medium size business creates jobs which we need. Large business acquires small and medium size business through litigation or hostile take-over. Large business acquires and outsource work. Unemployment increases and labor pool becomes more desperate. Wages for software are about 9k dollars a year in india and 60k dollars per year in the united states. Each software engineer outsourced saves company 51k a year. To prevent competion the software giants bribe public officials (we call them campaign contributions) to pass laws to protect their interests at the expense of small to medium sized business.

618.9.2009 14:55

Do you have time as a software engineer to check your code against the 30,000 software patents filed each year? You would need 10 patent attorneys assigned to each software engineer in the united states. It is cheaper to outsource the work to india where they have been known to copy and paste sections of code from one company to another. Microsoft can not keep out of legal trouble just imagine how difficult it is for the small to medium size business. When you win against Microsoft your attorney fees are paid and you have enough left over to throw a victory party. When you loose against Microsoft you pay the attorney fees and a 50 million dollar payment to the winner. Not fair, yes but he who has the gold rules.

721.9.2009 8:32

Quote:
its patent which covers a method of entering information into fields on a computer screen with no Keyboard.
They best come after me too!
I have a checkbox in my application!

821.9.2009 12:52

You start a business with 1,000,000 dollars. You hire software engineers to write 1,000,000 lines of C++ code. You hire patent attorneys to verify that you have not infringed on any software patent filed with the US Patent Office. Your company files for bankruptcy protection as patent lawsuits are filed against your company to prevent your product from entering the marketplace.

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