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Judge Approves $1.53 Billion Verdict Against Microsoft

Microsoft said it plans to challenge the ruling, which found its Media Player software violated digital speech patents.
A federal judge has approved a jury's decision to award Alcatel-Lucent SA $1.53 billion in damages after finding that software company Microsoft violated its patents.

Judge Rudi Brewster, of U.S. District Court in San Diego, signed off on the award Monday.

In February, a jury found that Microsoft's Windows Media Player software violated digital speech patents owned by Lucent Technologies, which was acquired last year by Paris-based Alcatel.

Microsoft said it plans to challenge the ruling by Brewster, who in March dismissed a related claim by Alcatel-Lucent against Microsoft.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this week could bolster the software maker's chances for a successful appeal.

The high court found that U.S. software patents don't apply to software shipped to and reproduced in foreign countries. Many Microsoft products are manufactured outside the United States, though it was not immediately clear which parts of Windows Media Player, if any, would gain protection from the Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court was ruling on a patent lawsuit filed against Microsoft by AT&T.

Lucent filed 15 patent claims against PC-makers Dell and Gateway, along with Microsoft, in 2003. The lawsuits against Dell and Gateway remain active.

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