Microsoft to pay Alcatel $70 mln for infringement

Microsoft Outlook 2003 digital ink

As an example of how long patent battles can linger, a federal jury in San Diego has ruled Microsoft must pay Alcatel-Lucent some $70 million in damages for infringing on data-entry patents in a case that dates all the way back to 2003. The patents in question involve keyboard-free data entry technologies Microsoft used in products like Windows Mobile, MS Money, and its Outlook email client. Lucent originally sued Dell and Gateway over the issue; Microsoft stepped in as the plaintiff, since the suit was really about Microsoft technology and the company felt obligated to protect its licensees.

The patents were originally granted to AT&T; they transferred to Lucent when the company spun out of AT&T, and become part of Altatel-Lucent’s portfolio when the companies merged in 2006.

The new ruling represents the results of Microsoft’s appeal of an earlier verdict that came with a $500 million damages award. A federal appeals court vacated that award in 2009, saying that Microsoft should have to pay damages approximately equal to what it would have had to pay to license the technologies in the first place, since the functionality was a comparatively minor feature to Microsoft products.

The new $70 million ruling reflects the recalculated damages.

In a statement, Microsoft indicated it is pleased with the ruling, but will consider its next move with an eye towards potentially getting the damages reward reduced further.

The initial verdict that Microsoft had infringed on the patents is undisputed, and was supported by significant evidence.

The case is one of a series of suits Lucent brought against Microsoft over MP3 audio technology (Microsoft eventually prevailed), identifying users on a telephone networks (Alcatel-Lucent won), and speech compression and communications (which more-or-less ended in a draw).


Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.

Microsoft CEO says Project xCloud is the ‘Netflix for games’

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to the company's Project xCloud game streaming service as "Netflix for games." The service will let users play Xbox and PC games on a variety of devices.

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.

Chip off the auction block – Intel’s i9-9990XE may be sold to the highest bidder

Intel's alleged Core i9-9990XE may only be sold at auction to OEMs, meaning that only a few of the 14-core, 28-thread, 5GHz CPUs will ever see the light of day in specific devices and systems.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.