Jury rules for Alcatel in Microsoft patent case

SEATTLE Fri Apr 4, 2008 8:41pm EDT

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer at the Software 2007 conference in Santa Clara. Microsoft Corp said on Friday a U.S. jury awarded Alcatel-Lucent $367.4 million in damages after finding that the company had violated two patents related to the user interface in its Windows operating system. REUTERS/Lou Dematteis/Microsoft Handout

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer at the Software 2007 conference in Santa Clara. Microsoft Corp said on Friday a U.S. jury awarded Alcatel-Lucent $367.4 million in damages after finding that the company had violated two patents related to the user interface in its Windows operating system.

Credit: Reuters/Lou Dematteis/Microsoft Handout

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Friday a U.S. jury awarded Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) $367.4 million in damages after finding that the company had violated two patents related to the user interface in its software.

Microsoft said Alcatel-Lucent was seeking $1.5 billion in damages related to the four patents named in the case and the jury in U.S. District Court in San Diego found Microsoft did not infringe on Alcatel's video decoding technology patent.

The fourth patent in the lawsuit was asserted only against Dell Inc DELL.O, which was found not to have infringed, according to Microsoft.

"We will move immediately to have the two verdicts against Microsoft overturned. We feel confident the verdicts will be overturned, just as the court overturned a verdict last year by a San Diego jury," said Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in a statement.

Burt was referring to Microsoft's courtroom victory when U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster threw out a jury's $1.5 billion damage ruling against Microsoft over audio technology patents claimed by Alcatel-Lucent. The French company has appealed the judge's decision.

Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said it was pleased by the jury's ruling.

The software maker joined Dell and Gateway to fight the suit over technology used in Microsoft software licensed by those computer manufacturers. Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent are locked in several patent disputes, including a suit over video-decoding technology in Microsoft's Xbox game console.

Microsoft said the two patents it was found to have infringed upon related to technology that allows users to enter dates into calendars and another used in tablet computers to recognize patterns in handwriting.

(Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Ritsuko Ando in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Carol Bishopric)

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