What week goes by without some lawyer pounding on Microsoft's doors looking for moolah? Recent lawsuits attack Vista marketing and Microsoft's use of voice over IP technology. There's nothing like a billion-buck verdict to draw out a few more lawsuits. In late February, a jury awarded Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 billion in a patent dispute with Microsoft. About a week preceding the verdict, Microsoft settled a troublesome Iowa consumer class-action lawsuit. My, my, what a coincidence. One new lawsuit is about patents and the other about consumers.
The older of the lawsuits is a VOIP (voice over IP) patent dispute between LSI and Microsoft. Yesterday, LSI completed the acquisition of Agere, which filed the lawsuit in mid-March. Details have emerged trickle-like, possibly because of the merger.
The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft obtained proprietary Agere information during 2002-2003 acquisition talks and used it to develop VOIP products. Microsoft spokesperson Jack Evans said it "would be premature to comment," because Microsoft hasn't been served papers yet.