Microsoft Wins Patent Infringement Ruling

A court rules an Alcatel-Lucent patent was not misused.
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Score one for

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

in its long-running legal feud with

Alcatel-Lucent

(ALU)

.

A U.S. court has ruled that neither

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

,

Gateway

(GTW)

nor Microsoft had infringed on two patents held by Alcatel-Lucent during the development of Dell's Axim handheld computer.

Two other patents in the same case are still at issue.

The judgment is just one part of a very complex patent infringment case brought by Alcatel-Lucent against PC makers who use Microsoft's software in a variety of devices. Although it was not a direct target of the suit, Microsoft joined the hardware makers because its software is central to the case and would likely have been sued at a later day, in any case.

Fifteen patents were initially at issue, and because the case is so complex, the judge divided it into six separate trials.

Late last month in one of those cases, a federal jury in San Diego determined that Microsoft should

pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 billion for MP3 patent infringement. Microsoft has asked the judge to overturn the verdict and will likely appeal if he does not.

The various patents at issue in the set of cases include audio and video compression technology, pen input and voice coding.