It turned out to be another big week for patent news. A federal jury in San Diego today found that Microsoft must pay Alcatel-Lucent $70 million in a patent-infringement case dating back to 2003.

That’s not exactly good news for the Redmond company, but it is better than the damages of more than $500 million that the company was previously slated to pay in the same case. Microsoft was able to persuade an appeals court to overturn that verdict, leading to the new trial.

The case involved a feature of Microsoft’s Outlook email program, as noted by Bloomberg News.

Microsoft isn’t ruling out the possibility of another appeal.

“Today’s verdict reflects a positive trend in the law of patent damages stemming from the Federal Circuit’s earlier opinion in this and other cases,” said David Howard, a Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statement. “However, we continue to maintain that current law requires a genuine apportionment of damages when the infringement is directed to a small feature of a feature-rich product, and we are reviewing the verdict in that light and considering next steps.”

Previously: As patent debate rages, Google gobbles up IBM inventionsIntellectual Ventures responds to This American Life: We fundamentally disagree.

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  • Guest

    Use the money saved to offer Ballmer a golden parachute.

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