U.S. judge upholds Alcatel award in Microsoft case

Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates speaks during a news conference in Tokyo May 7, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A U.S. judge upheld a jury's ruling for $368 million in damages against Microsoft Corp MSFT.O for violating patents held by Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff said in a Thursday ruling that Microsoft owes Alcatel-Lucent a total of $512 million, which includes interest on the original award.

After a jury ruled for Alcatel-Lucent in April, Microsoft sought to have the ruling overturned. Last year, Microsoft was successful in having thrown out a separate $1.5 billion damages ruling over audio technology patents claimed by Alcatel.

“We had always believed we had a strong case and are pleased that the judge agreed that the jury’s thoughtful verdict was well reasoned and supported by the evidence,” Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said in a statement.

A Microsoft spokesman said the company said it plans to appeal the decision and is confident that the damages award will not be sustained on appeal.

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; editing by Carol Bishopric