Will Microsoft’s MP3 Problems Hit Apple Next?

Feb 26th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music

A federal jury’s ruling that Microsoft infringed on two MP3 patents and must pay Alcatel-Lucent SA $1.52 billion in damages may turn into problems for Apple and other technology companies.

Microsoft said it paid for the technology from Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute, which licenses it to hundreds of companies, including Apple Inc. and RealNetworks Inc.

Companies “have been relying on the fact that they thought they had critical licenses necessary to practice the technology,” said Michael Dever, a chair of the intellectual property group at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, a Pittsburgh law firm.

The Microsoft victory could lead Alcatel-Lucent to pursue claims or seek royalties from other companies.

This may take years to play out, though; Microsoft plans to appeal the decision.

via Chicago Tribune

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