More Bad Luck For Alcatel-Lucent (ALU)

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First, Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) turned in another bad quarter, leading Wall St. to question whether the merger between the US and French telecom equipment companies makes sense. Its shares are down 21% over the last month and trade close to their 52-week low.

Then, the company’s big patent victory over Microsoft (MSFT) gets overturned. Courts awarded ALU over $1.5 billion for Redmond’s infringement on some of the company’s digital music patents. Alcatel claims rights to much of the IP in the MP3 digital sound technology, so the victory over Microsoft may have opened the door for its to collect royalties from a number of other companies.

However, a US District judge found that Microsoft may have infringed one patent and not two. The two were the basis for the large damage award.

ALU’s own business is so poor that it should hope to be around for the next trial.

Douglas A. McIntyre