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Alcatel Sues Microsoft for Alleged Patent Infringement

French telecommunications gear maker Alcatel SA said Tuesday it has sued Microsoft Corp. in a U.S. federal court for patent infringement.

Alcatel filed two complaints on Friday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking compensation for what the Paris-based company believes to be a violation of its intellectual property rights.

Alcatel spokesman Stephane Lapeyrade would not comment on the details of the case but said the company had sued Microsoft "to preserve our rights to fair compensation for its intellectual property."

"We hope that this can be resolved through discussions rather than courts," he said.

Before filing the suits, Alcatel had reportedly notified Microsoft of what it believed to be unfair use of several patents, according to court documents.

Microsoft has not filed a response to the complaints.

Company spokesman Lou Gellos declined to comment on the suits, but said they appeared to be related to long-standing patent litigation between U.S.-based Lucent Technologies Ltd. and Microsoft at a U.S. District Court in San Diego. He said that Alcatel, which is poised to take over Lucent, may have "inherited" the legislation as part of the proposed merger.

Gellos emphasized that Alcatel had filed the suits on Friday, the same day U.S. President George W. Bush approved the proposed $11.8 billion (9.2 billion euros) merger between the two telecommunications equipment companies.

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