Microsoft Gets $70M Penalty in Alcatel-Lucent Patent Case

A jury on Friday awarded Alcatel-Lucent $70 million in a long-running dispute over Microsoft's use of patented Alcatel software technology.

The dispute concerned the so-called "Day" patent, which Microsoft was found to have infringed in certain versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Money (a now discontinued product) and Windows Mobile. The Day patent describes a method of entering information into fields on a computer screen, such as the date picker that's used in Outlook's calendar.

Lucent had originally sued Gateway over use of the technology in 2002, and Microsoft later joined as a defendant the case. Paris-based Alcatel agreed to merge with Lucent Technologies in 2006 and the litigation against Microsoft continued. In recent years, the dispute had settled on reassessing damages after a $358 million jury award to Alcatel-Lucent was thrown out on appeal. The $70 million award is the result of further legal wrangling over reassessed damages.

The Day patent originally had been filed by three computer engineers at AT&T in 1986.  Lucent, later acquired by Alcatel, was an AT&T spin-off company formed in 1996.

Microsoft had argued in the case that the Day patent was invalid for being obvious or anticipated. Additionally, Microsoft had argued that its products did not infringe, even should the patent be considered valid. However, these arguments did not prevail, and in May of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Microsoft's request to review a lower court's finding of patent infringement.

Other Alcatel-Lucent disputes with Microsoft have included the use of MP3 technology in Windows Media Player, in which Alcatel-Lucent was awarded $1.5 billion in damages, although the award was thrown out on appeal. There have also been legal disputes over digital speech technology and a terminal device communications protocol. The two companies reportedly settled many of their intellectual property disputes for an undisclosed amount back in November of 2008.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


  • RAMBleed Side-Channel Attack Method Disclosed by Researchers

    Academic researchers this week published information about another side-channel attack method, called "RAMBleed," that can expose information from memory chips, including encryption key information.

  • Penguin

    Windows 10 Preview Build 18917 Shows Off New Linux Integration

    Microsoft's latest Windows 10 "fast-ring" preview release is showcasing a coming Delivery Optimization enhancement, along with the ability to try the newly emerged Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2.

  • Customizing Microsoft Office 365

    While the overall look and feel of Office 365 is pretty standard across organizations, there are several ways to personalize it and make it fit better with your company's specific needs.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Tenants Getting Conditional Access and Trouble-Ticket Features

    Microsoft added its conditional access security service to Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions, according to a Wednesday announcement, and it also added new trouble-ticket features for Microsoft 365 administrators.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.