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Shares of Alcatel-Lucent rose 2.6 percent after a U.S. federal jury ruled that Microsoft Corp. must pay the French company $1.52 billion for using digital music technology without permission.

The shares rose 26 cents to close at 10.09 euros in Paris, giving Alcatel-Lucent, the world's largest maker of telecommunications equipment, a market value of 23.3 billion euros ($30.7 billion).

Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, infringed two patents of Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent with its Windows Media Player, including the version in the new Vista operating system, a San Diego jury said Thursday. Microsoft said it will appeal the verdict.

"The jury's decision, if confirmed, would open the way for Alcatel-Lucent to file a large number of lawsuits against other companies using these patents illegally," analysts Frank Maccary and Eric Beaudet at Ixis Securities wrote in a note.

One of the disputed patents relates to compression of digital audio signals, while the other describes how to encode and play digital music. The jury upheld the validity of the patents and found that Alcatel-Lucent is entitled to more than $759 million for each of the two infringed patents.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said it licenses technology from a German researcher, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. Fraunhofer helped develop MP3 audio-compression technology with Bell Labs, once part of Lucent Technologies Inc., which Alcatel SA acquired last year.

The decision allows Alcatel-Lucent to seek an order barring Microsoft from using the patented technology. The victory may clear the way for legal actions against hundreds of companies that rely on MP3, the standard for playing music and sound files on mobile phones and digital-music players.


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