Thursday, February 22nd 2007

Microsoft Fined $1.5 Billion over MP3 Patent

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent after losing a patent dispute regarding the MP3 audio technology used by Windows. The enormous fine comes after a verdict by a federal jury in San Diego ruled that the company should compensate for damages based on each Windows PC sold since May 2003. Microsoft claims that it licensed MP3 technology from Fraunhofer in a $16 million deal, and also claims that the patent may not cover overseas Windows sales, arguing they should be excluded from the damages. Alcatel-Lucent previously sued Dell and Gateway during 2003 in similar cases.Source: CNET
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39 Comments on Microsoft Fined $1.5 Billion over MP3 Patent

#1
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Take That MS

HAHA. Good. MS deserves this.
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#2
Completely Bonkers
I disagree. MS obtained a license. They should not receive "punative" damages. If the license was NOT sufficient, then there should be some form of redress, but $1.5 billion is rediculous.

Can you imagine winamp being sued for this kind of money? Nonesense. And more poeple use Winamp than windows for music right?
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#3
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
but didnt they buy the rights??
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#4
DBH
Thats a bit harsh...
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#5
Thermopylae_480
Alcatel-Lucent is a telecom corporation. Like they ever would have developed and used this technology. This is just one of those corporations that acquire patents and wait for someone to screw up so they can sue them.

Whatever.

That's a sleazy way to make a profit. I guess the 1.5 billion will make up for their profit losses last quarter. That's probably more than this corporations yearly earnings.
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#6
magibeg
Its not over yet, microsoft can always appeal. Honestly though Microsoft obtained a patent for it so they SHOULD be fine, even so think of the hundreds of not thousands of companies that could get sued over this.
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#7
tigger
I'm the only one
1.5billion,he'll pay it from pocket change.
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#8
wazzledoozle
Microsoft can probably bounce the case around the courts for at least a decade.
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#9
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Bill Gates was heard in the court room asking the judge; "So, do you want the cash right now, or should I just mail you a check? I might have to dip into my I'm-Going-To-Build-a-Ball-Pit-In-My-Huge-Mansion Fund"
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#10
Guttboy
Lucent can kiss my ......

How about they use some of that to pay back the shareholders that got burned a while back with that dough!

Sorry...rant mode off now....
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#11
jocksteeluk
i cant help but feel sorry for M$, i realy dislike these companies that wait years before challenging a patent.
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#12
niko084
The whole idea of charging for the mpeg format is ridiculous. First is a compression type like zip... Second it's opensource.
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#13
Carcenomy
You can't stop the greed of others though, and if that's the kind of dirty tactics Alcatel-Lucent have lowered themselves to, then they deserve whatever legal nightmare I'm sure MS will unleash on them.
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#14
ex_reven
I hope Microsoft brandishes their "ownage" stick
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#15
Thermopylae_480
They should revoke the right for Alcatel-Lucent to use Windows and Office. That would be funny.
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#16
ex_reven
LOL

..."we cant work anymore...dammit!"
then they have to pay for another OS and Application Software Package :)

1.5 Billion is a bit harsh, microsoft would have no reason to do things illegally
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#17
ktr
meh...this is pocket change for Microsoft.
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#18
ex_reven
1.5 billion is pocket change for the US Government
but you dont see them getting sued for that much :p, probably not even culumnatively
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#19
tkpenalty
Um... Considering that billgates gets $3000 a minute... this is nothing.
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#20
ex_reven
bill gates doest pay...ms does
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#21
Benpi
by: WarEagleAU
HAHA. Good. MS deserves this.
You're happy about this? You need to look at the big picture. MS is not going to pay the $1.5b --- We are. Expect more DRM and overpriced software in the future. Thanks a lot Altec Assh0les!
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#23
Wile E
Power User
by: niko084
Second it's opensource.
mp3 isn't open source. It's a patented technology. You have to pay licensing fees to use it. That's the reason the ability to play them isn't included in most Linux distros.
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#24
ex_reven
Consider an average American of modest wealth. Perhaps she has a net worth of $70,000. Mr. Gates' worth is 800,000 times larger. Which means that if something costs $100,000 to her, to Bill it's as though it costs 12 cents.

So for example, you might think a new Lambourghini Diablo would cost $250,000, but in Bill Gates dollars that's 31 cents.

That fully loaded, multimedia active matrix 233 MHZ laptop with the 1024x768 screen you've been drooling after? Half a penny.

A nice home in a rich town like Palo Alto, California? Two dollars. That nice mansion he's building? A more reasonable $63 to him.

You might buy a plane ticket on a Boeing 747 for $1200 at full-fare coach. In Bill-bills, Mr. Gates could buy six 747s (Not tickets, the planes themselves).

Some are fascinated by how much much all this money would be if put into dollar bills. Laid end to end, the Bills would stretch 3.8 million miles -- to the moon and back over 8 times. They could paper over all of Manhatten 7 times, or be stacked 2,690 miles high -- watch out for satellites. They would weigh 40,000 tons -- 100 times the weight of one of those 747s he bought above.

But one thing Bill can't do is even dent the national debt. Should he selflessly donate his stock to the U.S. treasury, he would reduce the $5.37 trillion national debt by well under 1%. It's nice to put things in perspective.
Loved this :roll:
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#25
mullered07
by: Benpi
You're happy about this? You need to look at the big picture. MS is not going to pay the $1.5b --- We are. Expect more DRM and overpriced software in the future. Thanks a lot Altec Assh0les!
exactly :shadedshu
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