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Judge backs Microsoft trade claim

January 29, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Alcatel-Lucent lost a key ruling in Microsoft Corp.'s U.S. trade complaint over patents for a system that integrates telephones and computers for voice calls, e-mail and videoconferencing.

U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Paul Luckern said Alcatel's OmniPCX Enterprise system infringes one Microsoft patent and recommended that it be barred from the U.S. He rejected claims that the system infringed three other patents or the OmniPCX Office servers infringe any of the four patents.

The dispute over systems that allow messages to be routed to both a user's phone and computer is part of a larger battle between the firms over patented technology in computers. Paris-based Alcatel won a $1.52-billion verdict against Microsoft in a case later thrown out by a federal court judge, and is seeking $3.49 billion in another patent dispute to be tried next month in California.

"Throughout our ongoing litigation with Alcatel-Lucent we have sought to engage in reasonable licensing discussions, and hope that this ruling can provide the catalyst for a resolution of the issues," Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft claimed Alcatel's Enterprise and Office systems infringed four patents. The Enterprise servers are sold to small to medium-sized businesses and the Office servers are sold to larger companies. Alcatel also sells software to operate with both servers.

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