A week after Microsoft lost a court battle with Alcatel-Lucent over two MP3 digital music technology patents to the tune of $1.5 billion, a judge in the same California court decided in Microsoft's favor regarding a speech-coding patent. Alcatel-Lucent will appeal the decision. The judge dismissed Alcatel's claim that Microsoft's Windows Media Player, NetMeeting and Messenger programs infringe its speech pattern analysis technology patent. These two suits are among six to be tried in the same court. They derive from claims made by Alcatel in 2003 against PC manufacturers Gateway and Dell over technology patents developed at Bell Labs, Alcatel's research unit. Cases yet to be tried involve video coding in Microsoft's Xbox console and Windows user interface.
Sources: The Mercury News, Reuters, Forbes, MarketWatch
Commentary: Alcatel-Lucent Wins $1.52 Billion Patent Judgment Against Microsoft • Patent Fights Are a Legacy of MP3’s Tangled Origins [New York Times] • Rob Black's Technology Stock Report
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Gateway Inc. (GTW), Dell Inc. (DELL). Broadband HOLDRs (BDH), iShares Goldman Sachs Technology Indx (IGM), iShares Goldman Sachs Software Index (IGV)
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