Microsoft finds its appeal in a patent-infringement case with Alcatel-Lucent turned down by the Supreme Court. A previous ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had upheld the verdict against Microsoft but overturned a $358 million judgment. Alcatel-Lucent says it intends to continue the legal battle in San Diego district court, where it hopes to secure a sizable monetary judgment.
Microsoft suffered a setback May 24 in its long-running
patent-infringement dispute with Alcatel-Lucent, when the Supreme Court
declined to hear the software giant's appeal. A previous ruling, delivered by
the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, had upheld the verdict against
Microsoft but overturned a $358 million judgment.
"We are pleased, but not surprised, that the Supreme Court rejected
Microsoft's appeal in this case and left intact the jury decision in the
federal appeals court that our Day patent is valid and that Microsoft infringes
spokesperson Mary Ward
said in a May 24 statement to Reuters. "We look
forward to the upcoming trial in San Diego
district court to determine the compensation to which Alcatel-Lucent is
entitled based on Microsoft's infringement."
A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment to eWEEK.
The patent at issue involves touch-screen form entry technology, which
Alcatel-Lucent argues was violated by Microsoft Outlook. During previous legal
insisted that the technology played no part in Outlook's e-mail function,
while Alcatel-Lucent claimed the contrary. The first verdict found Microsoft in
violation of the patent; in September 2009, the Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit allowed the original verdict against Microsoft to stand, but
with the stipulation that the damages associated with the violation-$358
million-would need to be recalculated.
"The damages award ought to be correlated, in some respect, to the
extent the infringing method is used by consumers," wrote Chief Judge Paul
Michel at the time, according to Bloomberg News.
Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent have a somewhat acrimonious history when it
comes to legal battles. In February 2007, a San Diego
jury awarded Alcatel-Lucent about $1.52 billion in a dispute with Microsoft
over two MP3-related patents. Microsoft argued that its use of the technology
was covered under a license, and the ruling was eventually overturned.
Microsoft finds itself embroiled in other high-profile legal action at the
moment. In addition to an intellectual-property lawsuit leveled against
cloud-based applications provider Salesforce.com, Microsoft is still battling a
patent-infringement lawsuit from Toronto-based i4i. On May 17, Microsoft
announced it would pay $200 million to settle a patent-infringement suit from
which builds communication and collaboration technology.