Microsoft Wins $1.5 Billion Legal Battle Over MP3 Technology

Aug 7th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music

Microsoft has won a reversal of a $1.5 billion jury verdict against it for infringing on a patent for MP3 technology.

Judge Rudi Brewster of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California threw out the damages, finding that a jury improperly ruled that Microsoft infringed on one of two pMP3 patents. One of those patents, the judge ruled Friday, was actually co-owned by AT&T, Lucent’s former parent company, and a German company called Fraunhofer, with which Microsoft had a licensing agreement to use the patented technology.

The ruling gives Fraunhofer co-ownership rights to the patent, and the right to license it to Microsoft.

“Today’s ruling by the judge reversing the jury’s $1.52 billion verdict against Microsoft is a victory for consumers of digital music and a triumph for common sense in the patent system,” said Microsoft in a statement.¬†”For the hundreds of companies large and small that rely on MP3 technology, the Court’s ruling clarifies that these companies have properly licensed the technology embodied in the ‘080 patent from its co-owner and industry recognized MP3 licensor–Fraunhofer.”

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