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Microsoft Loses $70 Million in Patent Dispute

Wonder why Google is so interested in IBM patents? Patents can mean big paydays for those that own them and mega losses for those that don't.

Microsoft, which owns thousands of patents, recently felt the sting when it lost to Alcatel-Lucent and was ordered to pony up $70 million.

So what did Microsoft do that was so terrible? Well, Outlook and Windows Mobile made the mistake of entering data into screen fields in a manner that Alcatel-Lucent claims it owns.

Alcatel-Lucent earlier won $1.5 billion from Microsoft over Windows Media Player's use of MP3, but that was overturned on appeal.

Here's what one Redmond reader had to say about the data input dispute: "I'll admit I do not know the specifics of this, but it sounds like a ridiculous thing to grant a patent for. And doesn't this mean LOTS of other companies can be sued as well for the same thing (i.e. a method of entering text on the screen w/o using a keyboard)?"

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/03/2011 at 1:18 PM


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