back to article Microsoft told to pay Alcatel $1.5bn in MP3 patent spat

Microsoft is reviewing its legal options after a US court ordered it to pay Alcatel $1.5bn for infringing the French telecoms' company's MP3 technology in Windows. Microsoft slammed the court's ruling, calling it "completely unsupported by the law or the facts," and claimed it had paid $16m to license the voice technology in …


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  1. Michael Willems

    Mistaks, shurely

    "...hundreds of other companies who purchased the rights to sue MP3 technology from Fraunhofer."

    Shurely shome Freudian mistake.. you may mean "use", not "sue"?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Freudian slip, and then some.

    Now corrected


    El Reg

  3. amanfromMars


    Use/Sue/Bill or George........ IT is all a matter of Semantics at the end of the day.

    The original freudian slip works better than its cover up.

  4. Richard Hebert


    If you wonder why the likes of RedHat abandoned

    mp3 format ages ago , there you have it.

    OggVorbis is free and sounds better .. so ..

    after reading this and knowing what we do about

    the mess .. can we blame them ?

    No .. personally i beleive that move to be right

    and that mp3 which is a horrible sounding format

    should just be abandoned and the switch to ogg done

    for all player types.


    /me steps off the soapbox

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those judges...

    ... just don't understand that Microsoft and Billy Gates ARE the law - that pesky US Department of Justice keeps harassing them as well: it's just sooooo unfair...

  6. Chad H.

    Wrong Target?

    Shouldnt A-L have been suing the company M$ had been paying to use the patent for selling stuff that wasnt theirs?

    Is this the start of serious prosecutions for buying, unwittingly, stolen property?

    I take it that M$ can now sue the company they've been paying, thus casing more cash to flow to the Lawyers.... Why are they always the ones who win?

  7. Robert Weast

    Proving Patents Suck!

    First and foremost. Alactel purchased "Fraunhofer" and the patents that came with the MP3 format. I am confused as to why they do not have to uphold the contracts made by that company?

    So basically they get a judgment saying everyone that has used that particular patent since the purchase they can chase down?

    And this is the reason patents are completely inane. They serve no purpose other than to make money for large corporations. Thankfully MS will tie them up in Appeals Court and Litigation for another 3 years. By then the next great format will be out. So I suppose Apple will sue Microsoft / Gnome and KDE for stealing the idea to make software look nice. heh!

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