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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:23 PM   #1
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1stFlight
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Default Microsoft Hit with 1.5Billion in Damages!

Before anyone takes an anti-MS slant to this, read the article... its rather puzzling

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday lost the first of six patent lawsuits brought by Paris-based telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, and a federal district court jury set damages at $1.5 billion.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker said the patents in question govern the conversion of audio into the digital MP3 file format on personal computers.


In short, Alcatel-Lucent sued MS over the MP3 file format, which MS has already licensed from Fraunhofer; who not only created it, but at last check was also the current license holder of the MP3 standard. Yeah it's a head scratcher.

Source: ABC News
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:24 PM   #2
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wtf?
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:38 PM   #3
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wait wait wait wait wait...

Ok so from what I gather Microsoft licenses this from said company, said company in turn agree's to license it to Microsoft but then turns around and sues Microsoft for using it and wins??? WTF???
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:43 PM   #4
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I kinda feel bad when companies have to pay out this much, in the end we are the ones getting screwed because they end up jacking up prices to make up what they lost, and dam thats a lot of money to loose even for Microsoft.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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i'll be honest, i've read the article twice and don't understand....
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellrazzor View Post
I kinda feel bad when companies have to pay out this much, in the end we are the ones getting screwed because they end up jacking up prices to make up what they lost, and dam thats a lot of money to loose even for Microsoft.

Yep, i don't support this suit AT ALL. Ridiculous as far as i'm concerned. Actually, I find myself supporting MS even more DUE to this lawsuit.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 07:16 PM   #7
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Microsoft doesn't get a shred of sympathy from me. MS has been pushing for software patents for a long time, and now it's finally biting them in the ass. I hope they're forced to pay every cent.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextbillgates View Post
Microsoft doesn't get a shred of sympathy from me. MS has been pushing for software patents for a long time, and now it's finally biting them in the ass. I hope they're forced to pay every cent.
Yeah but Microsoft went through the correct channels. They licensed the technology from the company owning the patent and then ended up getting sued for using it. Like I know that Microsoft makes billions up billions up billions, but this is just stupid and confusing...
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 08:29 PM   #9
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would have been better for MS to have just used without asking...
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 09:17 PM   #10
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From what I have read, it all started in 2002, not 03.

Lucent was created when AT&T spun-off Bell-Labs into it's own company in the 90's

lucent was in a lot of financial trouble in 2002($84 a share at peak, $0.55 a share in late 02)

In late 02 lucent went on a suing spree. MS got involved in 03 and the two companies have been suing back and forth since. Alcatel bought/merged with Lucent in dec 06

Anyway lucent claims rights to MP3 because apparently Bell Labs created part of the standard.
Many parts of the MP3 standard are own by companies other than Fraunhofer. Thompson Consumer Electronics, Sisvel and its US subsidiary Audio MPEG, Inc. Dloby Labs, Sony, and AT&T through it's Bell Labs which became Lucent
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 09:26 PM   #11
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Good post + awesome sig
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 11:52 PM   #12
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The most ridiculous thing of all is that it's not over the playback of mp3 files but the encoding of them, which as far as I recall (btw, I use wmp9 if at all) is only supported if you buy it from MS, and seeing as there are plenty of free mp3 encoding tools out there I doubt the wmp mp3 encoder sales came anywhere near $1.52b, if even 1%.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 11:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextbillgates View Post
Microsoft doesn't get a shred of sympathy from me. MS has been pushing for software patents for a long time, and now it's finally biting them in the ass. I hope they're forced to pay every cent.
Let me guess your an Mac fanboy or are you a linux fanboy or your on the lets hate Microsoft bandwagon. Start to you use your brain and i bet you could achieve more than just being a blind follower
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 02:05 AM   #14
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It's only Micorsoft, 1.5 billion isn't that much when you effectivly run the whole world.

And before anyone gets sand in their vagina, I hated Microsoft back in the 80's when IBM was keeping them in check. Stupid little bitchass MS couldn't handle being picked on by Big Blue and went crying to the Supreme Court. **** Microsoft.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 02:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuteja1986 View Post
Let me guess your an Mac fanboy or are you a linux fanboy or your on the lets hate Microsoft bandwagon. Start to you use your brain and i bet you could achieve more than just being a blind follower
Let me guess, you're a MS fanboy right? Do you even know about what that guy wrote in his post and you insult him?

Also "blind follower"? Oh the irony....
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 03:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuteja1986 View Post
Let me guess your an Mac fanboy or are you a linux fanboy or your on the lets hate Microsoft bandwagon. Start to you use your brain and i bet you could achieve more than just being a blind follower
You must be new here.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 05:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextbillgates View Post
Microsoft doesn't get a shred of sympathy from me. MS has been pushing for software patents for a long time, and now it's finally biting them in the ass. I hope they're forced to pay every cent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuteja1986 View Post
Let me guess your an Mac fanboy or are you a linux fanboy or your on the lets hate Microsoft bandwagon. Start to you use your brain and i bet you could achieve more than just being a blind follower
WTFFFFF?? nextbillgates a MAC or Linux fanboy? LOOOOOOLLLLL!!!! like billy said... you must be new

Okok... nextbillgates bashing M$ and me showing up for him... this thread is weird, I think we should close it before it destroys the whole universe.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 07:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike700 View Post
From what I have read, it all started in 2002, not 03.

Lucent was created when AT&T spun-off Bell-Labs into it's own company in the 90's

lucent was in a lot of financial trouble in 2002($84 a share at peak, $0.55 a share in late 02)

In late 02 lucent went on a suing spree. MS got involved in 03 and the two companies have been suing back and forth since. Alcatel bought/merged with Lucent in dec 06

Anyway lucent claims rights to MP3 because apparently Bell Labs created part of the standard.
Many parts of the MP3 standard are own by companies other than Fraunhofer. Thompson Consumer Electronics, Sisvel and its US subsidiary Audio MPEG, Inc. Dloby Labs, Sony, and AT&T through it's Bell Labs which became Lucent
Heres more.

SAN DIEGO -- Alcatel-Lucent told a jury it is owed almost $2 billion for Microsoft Corp.'s use of the standard technology for playing music and audio files on a computer, a dispute that may affect hundreds of companies that rely on MP3.

Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker, countered in federal court in San Diego that Alcatel-Lucent is trying to hold up every company that uses the MP3 standard and is demanding royalties that are already paid to another company.

Alcatel-Lucent is targeting Microsoft's Windows Media Player, including the version used in Microsoft's Vista operating system going on sale today . A three-week jury trial in the patent-infringement fight started yesterday .

Microsoft "just took what they wanted, they didn't care about the rules and they sold millions and millions of copies," John Desmarais, Alcatel-Lucent's lawyer, told the jury in opening statements.

A win for Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent might clear the way for legal actions against hundreds of companies relying on MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 technology, commonly called MP3, according to Microsoft.

"We wanted our day in court, not only for us, not only for our customers, but for MP3," Microsoft lawyer John Gartman told the jury.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash. , says it uses a different technology from that covered by one patent and that the second relates to innovations used with the owner's permission. It also claims Lucent's patents are invalid.

Microsoft licenses a patent from German researcher Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS through Thomson SA, a French provider of satellite decoders and post-production services for movies. Fraunhofer helped develop the patented MP3 audio-compression technology with Bell Labs, a predecessor company to Lucent Technologies Inc., which Alcatel SA acquired last year.

US District Judge Rudi Brewster and lawyers for the two sides yesterday selected a nine-member jury to hear the case. Testimony and final arguments are set to last three weeks.

Among hundreds of licensees of Fraunhofer's innovations are Microsoft rival Apple Inc., computer makers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Toshiba Corp., chip maker Intel Corp., electronics maker Bang & Olufsen, media-playing software maker RealNetworks Inc., and the Internet search engine Yahoo Inc.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 08:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathbecomesyou View Post
Heres more.

"We wanted our day in court, not only for us, not only for our customers, but for MP3," Microsoft lawyer John Gartman told the jury.
Ahem. I will correct them with 100% positive truth.

"We wanted our day in court, for us, not for our customers, not for MP3 but for the bazillions and bazillions of dollars we will steal from an innocent company and use for our own evil self righteous money grubbing selves. All we care about is our own pocket. We loves the money. We loves given the shaft to all of you so we can have more and MORE."
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 08:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monrad View Post
WTFFFFF?? nextbillgates a MAC or Linux fanboy? LOOOOOOLLLLL!!!! like billy said... you must be new

Okok... nextbillgates bashing M$ and me showing up for him... this thread is weird, I think we should close it before it destroys the whole universe.

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Old Feb 23, 2007, 09:21 AM   #21
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This is too weird.

I agree with M$ paying royalities, licenses and stuff, but on the other hand I detest patents, most of all software patents.

Anyways, the small should eat the big. It is good.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidosmosis View Post
innocent company
Well that's a bit of a stretch but it is odd...for the sake of the greater good we need to support the greater evil (ms ) to kill this attempt to prevent another company from going nuts over sueing the small companies into nothing-ness over a file format everybody uses without needing to buy a license from anybody anyway
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextbillgates View Post
You must be new here.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatecrime69 View Post
Well that's a bit of a stretch but it is odd...for the sake of the greater good we need to support the greater evil (ms ) to kill this attempt to prevent another company from going nuts over sueing the small companies into nothing-ness over a file format everybody uses without needing to buy a license from anybody anyway
Small companies have no right whatsoever morally, ethically or legally to bully on bigger companies for damages which they are not owed. What you think about Microsoft is no matter. What this company did is wrong. Winning this case is wrong. If Microsoft was paying for licenses they had a right to use it under the agreement that was made as long as they did not go outside that agreement.

No matter what occured, 1 billion dollars is nothing but highway robbery and I hope the ones responsible, including the judge in this case burn in hell as theives.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 12:04 PM   #25
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Yes, i completely agree, but calling microsoft an innocent company is a bit of a strech, even though they are innocent in this suitation hopefully this company will learn what happens when you try and fight microsoft head on
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 03:47 PM   #26
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Everyone should just start using OGG vorbis! Absolutely free with no licensing worries, and sounds better!

http://www.vorbis.com/
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 03:50 PM   #27
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Everyone should just start using OGG vorbis! Absolutely free with no licensing worries, and sounds better!

http://www.vorbis.com/
The only problem with that is, (in this "corporate" world) is that why would we push something thats free, when I can make another codec kinda thing, and charge money for it?

Sickening, but its all about greed and the almighty dollar (or whatever denomination that you use)
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 04:06 PM   #28
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Given the SCO crap that went on I hope Microsoft loses all 6 lawsuits.

Given that Microsoft threatens to sue people over patents I hope Microsoft loses all 6 lawsuits.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 04:11 PM   #29
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"
"I think they have just gone against Microsoft because they felt Microsoft would compromise with them," Chowdhry said. "I don't think Microsoft will be compromising."
"
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 12:06 AM   #30
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Personally, I have always disliked M$ for the same reasons I have never liked IBM, Apple, Nvidia, and Intel; because they have used unfair business practices to suppress rival products (and also because of my innate habit of cheering for the underdogs like Linux, ATI, and AMD). But even though I dislike M$, I am forced to recognize that they are actually not that bad. Just goto the M$ site network, and you'll see hundreds of usefull tools and thousands of articles and tutorials offered for free. Heck, you could practically learn everything you need to know about almost anything PC related from M$'s knowledgebase, from tweaking to programming. Yes, there are certain policies that are less than altruistic, but generally they are not that bad (just consider what they could do if they wanted, and they still aren't as evil a company as Apple (the masters of rights restriction -- just look at OSX or the ipod)).

This case only serves to point out how dismal our patent system is. For example, there's a type of bean that has been grown in mexico for thousands of years, but when growers tried to import them to the US, they were sued because Philip Morris patented the strain of bean even though they never did a thing to develop it. Similarly, one in five genes in your own DNA are privately owned by Medical researcher companies, meaning that any test for genetically-linked diseases like breast cancer are now subject to heavy royalties. Hell, even hepatitis C is privately owned. But if these genes mutate into a disorder/disease or you catch hepatitis C, does that give you the right to sue the company that owns it (I think you should be able to)? I'm also sure that you guys can recall recently when a bankrupt company decided to sue youtube, yahoo, aol, and google over their patent of just 'the idea' of streaming video on the net. Or even when a few boffins patented the technology of the disc with blueray, hd-dvd, and dvd layers; and 2 days later a media company patented 'the idea'.

You guys should all be happy that M$ volunteered (that's right, they volunteered) to be the victim of this lawsuit -- as they took the brunt of the blow just to expose how ridiculous it is.

Finally, you guys can sit here and complain all you want, but the only thing that you can do to help is call your congressperson and tell them that the patent system needs reformed. After all, it is your civic obligation...

PS: OGG vorbis is garbage, and any experienced encoder or audiophile knows it. Nothing gets any better than FLAC, but unfortunately it isn't supported by any personal media player (and neither is OGG, for that matter). Honestly, if not for the 3 pmp's I use, all the 6000 mp3's on my computer would be FLAC format.

Last edited by Nocturne : Feb 24, 2007 at 12:10 AM.
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