Courts fine Microsoft $1.5 Billion for mp3 licensing dispute

By Justin Mann on
Alcatel-Lucent has been awarded $1.5 Billion, to be paid by Microsoft. Based on every Windows PC sold since May 2003, the jury agreed that Microsoft violated patents owned by Alcatel-Lucent that related to the mp3 audio format. Microsoft disagrees with the verdict, claiming they already licensed it well enough through Fraunhofer. Thomson, the copmany that handles licensing of mp3 for Fraunhofer, is concerned that this decision will lead to further legal action:

"Therefore, today's outcome is disappointing for us and for the hundreds of other companies who have licensed MP3 technology," Burt said. "We are concerned that this decision opens the door for Alcatel-Lucent to pursue action against hundreds of other companies who purchased the rights to use MP3 technology from Fraunhofer, the industry-recognized rightful licensor."
Microsoft isn't taking it laying down, however, and has countersued. They likely will continue to be at each others throats for a while yet.

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