Microsoft countersues Lucent in Xbox row

Microsoft Corp. has filed a countersuit against Lucent Technologies Inc. in a dispute over Microsoft’s alleged misuse of patented technology in its Xbox 360 games console.

In court papers filed Monday, Microsoft denied infringing Lucent’s patent and argued that it is invalid anyway, in part because Lucent failed to disclose “prior art” when it made its application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Prior art refers to existing inventions in the field where a patent is being sought.

Microsoft also accused Lucent of infringing several Microsoft patents.

Lucent filed its suit against Microsoft at the end of March, arguing that technology used in the Xbox 360 for decoding MPEG-2 video files infringes on one of its patents. It requested a trial and monetary damages but stopped short of seeking an injunction to prevent Microsoft from selling the console.

The patent in question is Number 5,227,878, “Adaptive Coding and Decoding of Frames and Fields of Video,” and can be viewed by searching at the USPTO Web site . The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California.

The dispute dates back to 2003, when Lucent filed other lawsuits against Dell Inc. and Gateway Inc. over the same patent. Microsoft stepped in because of an indemnity agreement it had with the computer makers, suing Lucent in an effort to gain a judgment of noninfringement of the patent.

Microsoft was successful — a judge granted it summary judgement in the case last year on the grounds that Lucent’s patent contained a typographical error. Lucent had the patent corrected by the USPTO, however, and filed its new lawsuit against Microsoft this year.

In a statement this week, Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Tom Burt said the company stands by its intellectual property and its partners. He accused Lucent of choosing to litigate rather than engaging in “meaningful license negotiations.”

A spokesman for Lucent, in Murray Hill, New Jersey, declined to comment.

If the case comes to trial, some legal experts see Lucent seeking an injunction to block Microsoft’s sale of the Xbox 360. Others say that because the case has a complicated history, such a measure would probably be years away.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Cybersecurity in 2024: Priorities and challenges for Canadian organizations 

By Derek Manky As predictions for 2024 point to the continued expansion...

Survey shows generative AI is a top priority for Canadian corporate leaders.

Leaders are devoting significant budget to generative AI for 2024 Canadian corporate...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now