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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent agree to end long-running patent dispute

Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft have agreed to put an end to their long-running patent dispute, agreeing to a settlement in a California court case.

Microsoft did not disclose terms of the settlement, issuing only a statement that said: “Microsoft and Lucent have entered into a confidential settlement to the satisfaction of both parties.”

The judge overseeing the case in the U.S. District Court in San Diego approved the settlement.

The battle stems from a lawsuit Lucent, before it was purchased by Alcatel, brought in 2003 against computer makers including Gateway and Dell. The suit contend that the computer makers violated some Lucent patents. Microsoft later was added to the list of defendants, according to The Associated Press.

At one point a jury in the U.S. District Court in San Diego had decided Microsoft should pay Alcatel-Lucent $358 million for infringing on patents having to do with entering information into fields on a computer screen without using a keyboard. Alcatel-Lucent claimed Microsoft’s Outlook calendar and other programs illegally used this technology, according to AP.

Microsoft appealed that decision and a later jury reduced the damages Microsoft would have to pay Alcatel-Lucent to $70 million. [Updated 11:23 a.m. to add: The judge in the case later reduced the award to $26.3 million, saying the $70 million was not supported by evidence presented at the trial, according to Bloomberg.]

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