Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Alcatel goes after Microsoft in ED Texas

Alcatel is going after Microsoft in ED Texas, which lawsuit may be related to a previous suit by Lucent (now owned by Alcatel) in San Diego, CA.

The Register notes: The cost of such actions can be harmful to FLOSS companies who lack the money of their closed source cousins. The average patent suit costs $2m, according to the American Intellectual Property Lawyers' Association [AIPLA].
This latest action "will be viewed with dismay by the free software and open source community and viewed as proof of the inherent dangers of recognising IP in software. IP claims are an easy target for attorneys seeking easy money as defendants tend to settle out of court rather than risk a costly case where they may pay even greater damages."

InformationWeek reported: "Alcatel's recent filing appears related to longstanding patent litigation between Lucent and Microsoft in U.S. District Court in San Diego, which Alcatel is inheriting as part of its merger with Lucent," said Guy Esnouf, Microsoft spokesperson, in e-mail. "Alcatel filed its claims this past Friday -- the same day that its merger with Lucent was approved by the U.S. government."

In the previous litigation, Microsoft was accused of using in its Xbox 360 game system video-related IP Lucent that had developed. The action seeks royalties from Microsoft and some of its customers.

Alcatel claims Microsoft infringed on seven patents that appear to cover a wide range of video IP as well as the Xbox claim.


Separately, a jury in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles awarded LG Philips $53.5 million in damages, and the judge will determine issues of willful infringement, possibly raising damages as high as three times the jury award. The defendants were Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Tatung Co., of Taiwan. LG Philips is a joint venture between LG Electronics of South Korea and Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands.


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