Thursday, a jury in a Federal San Diego courtroom found Microsoft liable for infringing Alcatel-Lucent patented audio technology to the tune of $1.52 billion. Had the judge found Microsoft’s infringement to be willful, United States patent law would have allowed the judge to triple the damage award.
Microsoft appeared surprised at the verdict, especially after having licensed the infringing technology from the German company Fraunhofer for $16 million. Microsoft went on to lament the effect the verdict would have on the digital music industry. The market, however, just seemed happy it was over, with the stock of both companies gaining ground after the verdict.