A US court has awarded Alcatel $70m in damages in a case against Microsoft over the use of the so-called 'Day patent,' but Microsoft had originally been slated to pay much more.
The case, started by Lucent in 2002 before its merger with Alcatel, revolves around a patent for the entry of text onto a computer screen without the use of a keyboard. Lucent brought the case against Gateway and Microsoft and it has dragged on ever since.
"Alcatel-Lucent is obviously pleased with the verdict and the jury's recognition in the value of the Day patent that Microsoft infringed," Luke Dauchot, a lawyer for Alcatel-Lucent, told Bloomberg.
Microsoft's 'date-picker' tool in the calendar function of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Money and Windows Mobile was found to have infringed the patent in question, but the court slashed an earlier damages award in the process.
Alcatel was originally awarded $358m, and with interest that figure has grown to nearly $500m. However, the jury has set the limit at $70m, and Microsoft has appealed for this to be reduced further.
"We continue to maintain that current law requires a genuine apportionment of damages when the infringement is directed to a small feature of a feature-rich product," said David Howard, Microsoft's deputy general counsel.
"We are reviewing the verdict in that light and considering our next steps."
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