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Judge in MP3 case to Microsoft: time to pay up

$1.5bn, please

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Microsoft has been ordered to stump up $1.5bn for violating MP3 patents owned by Alcatel and Lucent Technologies.

US federal judge Rudi Brewster told the software giant that it's time to pay damages, after a trial jury found Microsoft guilty in February.

The judge ordered the $1.5bn to be split between Lucent and Alcatel - the latter inherited the case along with its 2005 purchase of Lucent. According to Brewster the court finds "no just reason for the delay and therefore enters final judgment on these patents".

Microsoft stepped into the case, originally brought by Lucent against Gateway and Dell, in case it was obliged to re-reimburse the OEMs should they lose.

Microsoft is still in the appeals phase of the case, with a hearing expected in June, so is not likely to panicked by this latest chapter in its legal woes.

The order came as - on the other side of the country - the US Supreme Court ruled 7-1 in Microsoft's favor that it did not infringe AT&T's IP in encoding and compression of speech in Windows. ®

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