Feeds

Alcatel slaps Microsoft with patent infringement claim

Meanwhile, in the big leagues...

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Fresh from Steve Ballmer's claim Linux infringes on Microsoft IP, Microsoft has itself succumbed to another accusation it is illegally using someone else's technology.

Telecoms giant Alcatel has opened legal proceedings against Microsoft seeking damages and costs for the alleged infringement of seven patents. The disputed patents cover video and voice communications, according to Alcatel, and are apparently being used for video de-coding in the Xbox 360.

Alcatel is pursuing its action through the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

According to Alcatel's filing: "Microsoft has purposefully and voluntarily placed one or more of its infringing products into the stream of commerce with the expectation that they will be purchased by consumers in the Eastern District of Texas. These infringing products have been and continue to be purchased."

Microsoft has reportedly said the Texas case is an extension of litigation in San Diego, California, with Lucent, who Alcatel is buying for $11.8bn.

Regardless of where it came from, this latest Microsoft-centric IP action will be viewed with dismay by the free software and open source community and viewed as proof of the inherent dangers of recognising IP in software. IP claims are an easy target for attorneys seeking easy money as defendants tend to settle out of court rather than risk a costly case where they may pay even greater damages.

The cost of such actions can be harmful to FLOSS companies who lack the money of their closed source cousins. The average patent suit costs $2m, according to the American Intellectual Property Lawyers' Association. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.