After all, Microsoft Corp. you will not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent 358 million dollars (about 246 million euros) for infringement of patents defined by a court decision. On appeal, the federal court in Washington, DC (USA), ruled in favor of the Redmond company due to problems in the way the damages had been calculated.
At the origin of the dispute is the dispute over the patent for a method of entering data into fields on a computer screen, without the need for a keyboard. Alcatel-Lucent maintains that the Microsoft Outlook calendar, and other programs, illegally used this technology.
The federal court disagreed with the decision initially made regarding the amount of the compensation. However, it maintained the decision to convict Microsoft to pay the rights due for the use of the patent, considering the district court’s verdict valid, which will have been supported by «substantial evidence».
The amount of damages had been determined by a California district court and should have been equivalent to what Microsoft would have paid for Alcatel-Lucent’s patent license, if it had registered it. This Friday, the court that considered the appeal brought into question how the «damages» were calculated.
He considered that the telecommunications company had not proven that the technology was worth the $ 358 million in rights and that there was no evidence of the massive use by consumers of the tool that motivated the action, and ordered the district court to reconsider the value, which it said was disproportionate.
Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward, in statements to the press, informed that the company is disappointed with the decision regarding the calculation of the damage value, but is satisfied to see the validity of the patent confirmed and the violation of rights over the same, by Microsoft.
This patent suit is the latest in a list of six brought by Lucent Technologies Inc. in 2003 against computer makers Gateway and Dell, which Microsoft later joined. The shares refer to technologies developed by Bell Labs, Lucent’s research department – purchased by Alcatel in 2006.