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Alcatel-Lucent S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded as Euronext: ALU
Industry Telecommunications equipment
Founded Alcatel: 1872
Lucent Technologies: 1870
Alcatel-Lucent: 2006
Headquarters Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Area served
Key people
Michel Combes
Philippe Camus
Products Hardware, software and services to telecommunications service providers and enterprises
Revenue 14.4 billion (2013)[1]
€ 204 million (2013)[1]
Profit € -1.3 billion (2013)[1]
Total assets €22 billion (at Dec. 31, 2013)[1]
Total equity €3.7 billion (at Dec. 31, 2013)[1]
Number of employees
52,600 (end of 2014)[2]
Website .com.alcatel-lucentwww

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (French pronunciation: ​) is a French global telecommunications equipment company, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

The company focuses on fixed, mobile, and converged networking hardware, IP technologies, software and services, with operations in more than 130 countries. It had been named Industry Group Leader for Technology Hardware & Equipment sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review[3] and listed in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators for the 4th consecutive year.[4] Alcatel-Lucent also owns Bell Laboratories, one of the largest research and development facilities in the communications industry, whose employees have been awarded eight Nobel Prizes and the company holds in excess of 29,000 patents.

Alcatel-Lucent's chief executive officer is Michel Combes and the non-executive chairman of the board is Philippe Camus. Camus joined the company in the third quarter of 2008, alongside Ben Verwaayen as CEO, after Alcatel-Lucent's first CEO Patricia Russo and first chairman Serge Tchuruk resigned.[5] For 2010, the company had revenues of €16 billion and a reported net loss of €334 million.[6] For 2011, revenues were €15 billion, net loss of €1.1 billion. For 2012, revenues were €14.4 billion and net loss of €1.4 billion.[7] After seven consecutive years of negative cash flows, in October 2013 the company announced plans to slash 10,000 employees, or 14% of the total current 72,000 workforce, as a part of a €1 billion cost reduction effort.[8]

In June 2013, Michel Combes announced "The Shift Plan",[9] a three-year plan including portfolio refocusing on IP networking, ultra-broadband access and cloud; 1 billion Euro in cost savings; selective asset sales intended to generate at least 1 billion Euro over the period of the plan and the restructuring of the Group's debt. On October 1, 2014, it announced that it had closed the sale of its subsidiary Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise to China Huaxin Post & Telecommunication Economy Development Center.

On April 15, 2015, Nokia announced that it would acquire Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6 billion.[10]


  • History 1
    • Timeline 1.1
      • Alcatel 1.1.1
      • AT&T, Lucent Technologies 1.1.2
      • Alcatel-Lucent 1.1.3
  • Organization 2
    • Board of directors 2.1
    • Leadership team 2.2
  • Operating segments 3
  • Research and development 4
  • Awards and distinctions 5
  • Lawsuits 6
    • Violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 6.1
    • Alcatel-Lucent v. Microsoft 6.2
    • Alcatel-Lucent v. Newegg and Overstock 6.3
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Former Alcatel-Lucent head office to 2009

Alcatel-Lucent was formed when Alcatel (originally short for the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Atomiques, de Télécommunications et d'Électronique, a small company in Mulhouse absorbed by CGE in 1966) merged with Lucent Technologies on December 1, 2006. However, the predecessors of the company have been a part of telecommunications industry since the late 19th century. The company has roots in two early telecommunications companies: La Compagnie Générale d'Electricité (CGE) and the Western Electric Manufacturing Company.[11]

Western Electric began in 1869 when Elisha Gray and Enos N. Barton started a small manufacturing firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. By 1880, the company had relocated to Chicago, Illinois, and become the largest electrical manufacturing company in the United States. In 1881 the American Bell Telephone Company, founded by Alexander Graham Bell and forerunner of American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T), purchased a controlling interest in Western Electric and made it the exclusive developer and manufacturer of equipment for the Bell telephone companies.[11]

CGE was formed in 1898 by French engineer Pierre Azaria in the Alsace region of what was then Germany and was a conglomerate involved in industries such as electricity, transportation, electronics and telecommunications. CGE would become a leader in digital communications and would also be known for producing the TGV (train à grande vitesse) high-speed trains in France.[11]

Alcatel One Touch 535, front side. (introduced July 2003)

transistor, the laser, the solar cell battery, the digital signal processor chip, the Unix operating system and the cellular concept of mobile telephone service. Bell Labs researchers have won 7 Nobel Prizes.[11]

Also in 1925, Western Electric sold its International Western Electric Company subsidiary to ITT Corporation. CGE purchased the telecommunications part of ITT in the mid-1980s.[11]

AT&T re-entered the European telecommunications market in 1984 following the Bell System divestiture. Philips promoted the venture in part because its PRX public switching technology was ageing and it sought a partner to help fund the development costs of digital switching. The joint company used the existing manufacturing and development facilities in The Hague, Hilversum, Brussels, and Malmesbury as well as its U.S. resources to adapt the 5ESS system to the European market. The joint venture company AT&T & Philips Telecommunications BV doubled annual turnover between 1984 and 1987, winning major switching and transmission contracts, mainly in the effectively captive Netherlands market. In 1987, AT&T increased its holding to 60% and in 1990 it purchased the remainder of the Philips' holding.

In 1998, Alcatel Alsthom shifted its focus to the telecommunications industry, spinning off its Alsthom activities and changing the company's name to Alcatel. AT&T spun off Lucent Technologies in April 1996 with an initial public offering.[11]

World areas which Alcatel-Lucent serve.

In April 2004, TCL Corporation and Alcatel announced the creation of a mobile phone manufacturing joint venture: Alcatel Mobile Phones.

Alcatel-Lucent campus in Germany.

Facing intense competition in the telecommunications industry, Alcatel and Lucent Technologies merged on November 30, 2006.[12]

On April 5, 2006, Alcatel announced that it would swap its shares of Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio for €673 million and a 12.1% stake in Thales, a key player in the French defense industry. This increased Alcatel's stake in Thales to 20.8%.[11]

Alcatel-Lucent acquired Nortel's UMTS radio access business at the end of 2006. During 2007 the company acquired Canadian metro WDM networking supplier Tropic Networks, Inc.; enterprise services gateway products developer NetDevices; IPTV software company Tamblin; and the telecommunications consulting practice Thompson Advisory Group, Inc. Alcatel-Lucent acquired Motive, Inc., a provider of service management software for broadband and mobile data services in 2008.[11] They formerly had a joint venture with Dutch company Draka Holding N.V. for manufacturing optical fibre, but Draka bought out Alcatel-Lucent's 49.9% stake for €209 million in December 2007.[13]

In May 2009, Alcatel-Lucent's stake in Thales was acquired by Dassault Aviation.[14] Alcatel-Lucent announced the acquisition of OpenPlug on September 1, 2010.[15]

In October 2011, Alcatel-Lucent sold its call-center services business Genesys unit to Permira, a private equity group, for $1.5 billion—the same amount the company bought the business for in 2000. Alcatel-Lucent needed funding for the Franco-American business, which made annual losses from 2007 to 2011.[16]

On April 15, 2015, Finnish telecommunications firm Nokia announced its intent to purchase Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6 billion in an all-stock deal. The acquisition aims to create a stronger competitor to the rival firms Ericsson and Huawei, whom Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent had surpassed in terms of total combined revenue in 2014. The acquisition is expected to be completed in early 2016, and is subject to regulatory approval. The Bell Labs division will be maintained, but the Alcatel-Lucent brand will be replaced by Nokia.[10][17][18]



  • 1898 – French engineer Pierre Azaria sets up the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité (CGE).
  • 1925 – CGE becomes part of Compagnie Générale des Câbles de Lyon. Bell Telephone Laboratories is created.
  • 1928 – Alsthom is formed by Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques and Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston.
  • 1950 – See ITT Kellogg > ITT Telecommunications > Alcatel
  • 1970 – Ambroise Roux becomes CGE's chairman. He then becomes the honorary chairman until his death in 1999.
  • 1982 – Jean-Pierre Brunet becomes CGE's chairman.
  • 1984 – Georges Pebereau becomes CGE's chairman. Thompson telecommunications is absorbed by CGE.[19] Cables de Lyon buys Thompson Jeumont Cables and Kabelmetal.
  • 1985 – Alsthom Atlantique becomes Alsthom. Alcatel is formed when CIT-Alcatel and Thompson telecommunications merge.[20]
  • 1986 – ITT Corporation sells its European telecommunications business to CGE under its agreement with Alcatel NV. Cables de Lyon becomes a subsidiary of Alcatel NV.[21] Pierre Suard becomes CGE Chairman.
  • 1987 – CGE is privatized.[22] Alsthom wins contract for TGV Atlantique for the Northern TGV network.
  • 1989 – CGE and General Electric Company form GEC Alsthom. This allows Alsthom to sells its products outside France. CGEE-Alsthom becomes Cegelec. AT&T Technologies reorganizes with the following business units: Network systems, Global Business Communications, Microelectronics and Consumer Products.
  • 1991 – CGE changes its name to Alcatel Alsthom. Acquires Rockwell Technologies transmission equipment division.[23][24][25] Cables de Lyons is renamed Alcatel Cable and takes over AEG Kabel.
  • 1991 – Alcatel acquires Telettra, an Italian Telecommunication systems company.
  • 1992 – Alcatel Alsthom acquires AEG Kabel.
  • 1993 – Alcatel Alsthom acquires STC Submarine systems from now Nortel Networks.
  • 1995 – Serge Tchuruk appointed chairman and CEO of Alcatel Alsthom. He restructured the company to focus on telecommunications equipment.[26]
  • 1998 – Alcatel Alsthom split. Alsthom GEC becomes Alstom through an IPO (with Alcatel retaining 24%). Alcatel sells Cegelec to the newly formed Alstom. Alcatel acquires DSC Communications for $4.4 billion[27] and Packet Engines[28]
  • 1999 – Alcatel acquires Xylan, Assured Access and Internet Devices. Alcatel increases its stake in Thomson CSF to 25.3% and decreases its stake in Framatome to 8.6%.
  • 2000 – Alcatel acquires Newbridge, Genesys and Innovative Fibers. Alcatel spins off its cable unit into Nexans.[29] Lucent spins off Avaya Inc.
  • 2001 – Alcatel sells its stake in Alstom. Alcatel buys back Alcatel Space investment from Thales, and reduces its stake in Thales to 20.03%. Alcatel sells its 2.2% stake in Areva. Alcatel sells DSL modem business to Thomson Multimedia. Lucent spins off its microelectronics business into Agere Systems via an IPO.
  • 2002 – Alcatel acquires Astral Point Communications Inc., Telera Corporation, and control of Alcatel Shanghai Bell. Alcatel sells its microelectronic business to STMicroelectronics, its stake in Thomson, 10.3M shares of Thales, and 1.5M shares of Nexans.
  • 2003 – Alcatel acquires iMagicTV, and TiMetra Inc. It sells a 50% stake in Atlinks, and its optical business to Avanex.
  • 2004 – Alcatel acquires eDial Inc. Alcatel and TCL form a joint venture: Alcatel Mobile Phones, with Alcatel holding a 45% stake. Alcatel and Draka Holdings form a joint venture: Draka Comteq B.V. with Alcatel holding a 49.9 stake.[30] Alcatel finalizes its acquisition of Spatial Wireless but sells 7.1M shares of Avanex.
  • 2005 - Alcatel sells its 45% stake of the Alcatel Mobile Phones venture back to TCL.[31]

AT&T, Lucent Technologies

  • 1869 – Elisha Gray and Enos N. Barton formed Western Electric Company.
  • 1927 – Bell Labs makes the first American long distance television transmission between New York and Washington DC.[32]
  • 1937 – Dr. Clinton Davisson becomes the first of 11 Nobel Prize winners from Bell Labs for his experimental confirmation of the wave nature of electrons.
  • 1946 – Western Electric produces over 4 million telephones.[33]
  • 1947 – Bell Labs invents the transistor. Bell Labs' Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young wrote a memo entitled Mobile Telephony – Wide Area Coverage – Case 20564, using "hexagonal" cells for radio frequency.[34]
  • 1948 – Claude Shannon, of Bell Labs, publishes a paper on Information Theory.
  • 1954 – Bell Labs invents the solar cell battery.
  • 1956 – AT&T is involved in the efforts of TAT-1, the first submarine trans-Atlantic telephone cable, handling up to 36 channels. Electric repeaters, created by Bell Labs, were used. To settle anti-trust lawsuit, Western Electric (formerly AT&T) sells off non-networking equipment business.[35]
  • 1957 – Laser is invented at Bell Labs.
  • 1962 – Bell Labs builds and launches Telstar1, the first orbiting active communications satellite.
  • 1969 – Unix operating system is invented by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie.
  • 1978 – Bell Labs conducts the first trial of a commercial cell phone service in Chicago.
  • 1980 – Bell Labs announces digital signal processor.[36]
  • 1983 – AT&T installs the first high-capacity, long-haul lightwave transmission system between NYC and Washington DC.[37]
  • 1996 – Lucent Technologies launches IPO, the largest at that time.
  • 1998 – Lucent purchases Jeong Kim's Yurie Systems for $1.1 billion.[38][39]
  • 2002 – Patricia Russo becomes Lucent's CEO.
  • 2003 – Patricia Russo becomes Lucent's Chairman.
  • 2004 – Lucent reports its first profitable year and revenue increase since 2000.
  • 2005 – Jeong Kim becomes Bell Labs 11th president.


  • 2006 – Alcatel sell its satellite, railway signaling and critical security domain to Thales. On November 30 Alcatel and Lucent merge. Alcatel-Lucent is formed. Alcatel Lucent acquires Nortel's UMTS radio access business.
  • 2007 – Alcatel-Lucent acquires Tropic Networks, NetDevices, Thompson Advisory Group, and Tamblin.
  • 2008 – Alcatel-Lucent acquires Motive Inc. Ben Verwaayen becomes Alcatel-Lucent second CEO.
  • 2009 – Alcatel-Lucent sells remaining share of Thales and outsource its IT to HP.
  • 2011 – Wim Sweldens leads a wireless group to develop lightRadio, a technology to reduce the size of cell towers to tiny cubes.[40]
  • 2012 - Alcatel-Lucent sells Genesys Labs to Permira[41]
  • 2015 - Nokia Corporation announced its intentions to acquire Alcatel Lucent for $16.6 billion[42][43]


The company's global headquarters is in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.[44] It has had previous head offices in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, and in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France.[45] Its previous head office, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, was built between 1912 and 1929 and was renovated in 1998. During the renovation the building was decorated with a theme of the cosmos and time.[46]

There are regional groups for the Americas, Asia Pacific & China, and Europe, Middle East & Africa.[47] Middle East and Africa Headquarters are at Smart Village, Giza, Egypt.[48] Alcatel was present in Italy with various research centers: Vimercate (in Lombardy), Rieti, Battipaglia, Trieste, Genova, Bari, Naples, Rome and Sesto Fiorentino. As of 2014, their presence is only in Vimercate (in Lombardy), Trieste, Rome.

Board of directors


Leadership team


  • Michel Combes, CEO
  • Basil Alwan, IP routing & IP transport
  • Bhaskar Gorti, IP platforms
  • David Geary, Wireless
  • Federico Guillen, Fixed networks
  • Philippe Guillemot, Operations
  • Philippe Keryer, Strategy & Innovation
  • Jean Raby, Chief Financial Officer
  • Nicole Gionet, Human Resources
  • Tim Krause, Chief Marketing Officer

Operating segments

Core Networking segment includes three business divisions: IP Routing, IP Transport, and IP Platforms. Access segment includes 4 business divisions: Wireless, Fixed Access, Licensing, and Managed Services.

Research and development

  • Alcatel-Lucent company website
  • Alcatel-Lucent's Enriching Communications online magazine
  • Alcatel-Lucent History
  • Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs portal
  • Alcatel-Lucent Company Summary from Yahoo
  • Western Electric History
  • Western Electric History Chart

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Thomson Reuters Names the 2014 Top 100 Global Innovators". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent announces Chairman Serge Tchuruk and CEO Pat Russo to step down" (Press release). Alcatel-Lucent. 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  6. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent fourth quarter 2010 earnings" (Press release). Alcatel-Lucent. 2011-02-10. 
  7. ^ 2012 Annual Report on Form 20-F
  8. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent reportedly to reduce workforce by 10,000 jobs". Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent Builds Future Around IP". Light Reading. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Nokia agrees to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion". The Verge. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h!ut/p/kcxml/04_Sj9SPykssy0xPLMnMz0vM0Y_QjzKLd4w3sfQGSYGYRq6m-pEoYgbxjggRX4_83FT9IH1v_QD9gtzQiHJHR0UAdXXZMA!!/delta/base64xml/L3dJdyEvd0ZNQUFzQUMvNElVRS82X0FfNUxJ "Alcatel-Lucent History" . Company Overview. Alcatel-Lucent. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  12. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent Merger Timeline". News Features. Alcatel-Lucent. 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  13. ^ Leers, Kaj (2007-12-18), "Draka to pay 209 mln eur to Alcatel-Lucent for 49.9 pct stake in Comteq JV", Forbes, retrieved 2010-07-28 
  14. ^ "Dassault Aviation completes the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent's stakes in Thales". Press Release. Alcatel-Lucent. 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  15. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent acquires OpenPlug, a cross-platform mobile software development tool provider". Press Release. Alcatel-Lucent. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  16. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent sells Genesys for $1.5bn". October 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Merger of Nokia With Alcatel-Lucent Could Put Pressure on Prices". Wall Street Journal. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.  (subscription required)
  19. ^ "Thomson part of CGE". 
  20. ^ "Alcatel is formed" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "Cables dy Lyon subsidiary of Alcatel". 
  22. ^ "CGE privatized". 
  23. ^ "Alcatel-Lucent Company History". 
  24. ^ "New York Times coverage of Rockwell unit sale". The New York Times. 1991-07-13. 
  25. ^ "CGE acquires Rockwell". 
  26. ^ "Alcatel and Lucent Talks". 
  27. ^ Schiesel, Seth (1998-06-05). "Alcatel acquires DSC for $4.4 billion". NY Times. 
  28. ^ "Alcatel Buys Packet Engines". Wired. 1998-10-13. 
  29. ^ "Nexans Press Release". Oct 9, 2000. 
  30. ^ "Draka Press Release" (PDF). May 17, 2004. 
  31. ^ "TCL Unit to Buy 45% Stake of Mobile-Phone Venture From Alcatel". Bloomberg. 2005-05-16. 
  32. ^ "History of AT&T and Television". AT&T. 
  33. ^ 1947 Western Electric Annual Report. Western Electric. 1947. p. 5. 
  34. ^ "coversheet for technical memoranda" (PDF). Retrieved 2012. 
  35. ^ "AT&T Milestones". 
  36. ^ Bell Laboratories Record. June 1980. p. 189. 
  37. ^ "Long-Haul Lightwave Transmission System". 
  38. ^ Lucent Technologies to Acquire Yurie Systems for $1 Billion – New York Times. (1998-04-28). Retrieved on 2013-08-22.
  39. ^ Jeong Kim Biography – Academy of Achievement. (2008-08-18). Retrieved on 2013-08-22.
  40. ^ Ben Rooney (February 7, 2011). "Alcatel-Lucent Shrinks Cell Tower". The Wall Street Journal: Technology. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  41. ^ Alcatel-Lucent sells Genesys for $1.5bn Financial Times, 19 October 2011
  42. ^ "Nokia just bought Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion". Engadget. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  43. ^ "Nokia to buy Alcatel-Lucent to grow in telecom". Reuters. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  44. ^ "[3]." Alcatel-Lucent Fast Facts. Retrieved on 31 July 2014 "Headquarters 148/152 route de la Reine 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France"
  45. ^ "[4]." Alcatel-Lucent Fact Sheet. Retrieved on 17 August 2011 "Headquarters 3 av. Octave Gréard 75007 Paris, France"
  46. ^ "la tête dans les étoiles." Le Journal du Net. Retrieved on 8 July 2010.
  47. ^ "Regional Groups". Company Overview. Alcatel-Lucent. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  48. ^ "ALU MEA". Alcatel-Lucent. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  49. ^ Alcatel-Lucent's board of directors
  50. ^ Leadership team, Alcatel-Lucent's website
  51. ^ "Innovation". Alcatel-Lucent. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  52. ^ "AT&T History". 
  53. ^ "IEEE Global History Network: Transistors". 
  54. ^ 31 Terabits por segundo: Alcatel-Lucent bate récord mundial de transmisión de datos submarina. (2013-07-23). Retrieved on 2013-08-22.
  55. ^ "Technology Review 2012". Technology Review. 2012. 
  56. ^ "Global Mobile Awards 2012". Global Mobile Congress. March 2012. 
  57. ^ FCPA Blog (28 December 2010). "Alcatel-Lucent Settles Bribery Case". FCPA Blog. 
  58. ^ U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (27 December 2010). "SEC Charges Alcatel-Lucent with FCPA Violations". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  59. ^ United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (27 December 2010). "Securities and Exchange Commission v Alcatel-Lucent, S.A." (PDF). U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  60. ^ Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs (27 December 2010). "Alcatel-Lucent S.A. and Three Subsidiaries Agree to Pay $92 Million to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation". The United States Department of Justice. 
  61. ^ Pleading Paper
  62. ^ "Microsoft faces $1.5bn MP3 payout". BBC News. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  63. ^ "Microsoft hit with $1.5 billion patent verdict". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  64. ^ Bangeman, Eric (2007-08-06). "Judge tosses verdict, $1.52 billion award in Microsoft MP3 patent case". arstechnica. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  65. ^ Broache, Anne (2007-03-02). "Microsoft wins in second Alcatel-Lucent patent suit". CNET Archived from the original on 5 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  66. ^ Montalbano, Elizabeth (2007-03-03). "One Patent Claim Against Microsoft Dropped". Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  67. ^ "Newegg nukes "corporate troll" Alcatel in third patent appeal win this year". Ars Technica. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 


In May 2013, Newegg and Overstock won a victory in United States circuit court in which an Alcatel-Lucent shopping cart patent was invalidated.[67]

Alcatel-Lucent v. Newegg and Overstock

Additional patent infringement cases, some filed by Microsoft and some filed by Alcatel-Lucent, are pending in the United States.

The third part of the case, involving several user interface-related patents, began on May 21, 2013.

In the second part of the case, the judge ruled that Microsoft had not violated Alcatel-Lucent's patents relating to speech recognition and the case was therefore dismissed before going to trial. Alcatel-Lucent intended to appeal.[65][66]

The first part of the case involved two audio coding patents that Alcatel-Lucent claimed were infringed by Microsoft's Windows Media Player application. Alcatel-Lucent won the trial and $1.52 billion in damages, but the judge granted[61] Microsoft's motion for judgment and new trial.[62][63] Alcatel-Lucent appealed.[64]

Lucent Technologies filed suit against Gateway and Dell, claiming they had violated patents on MP3, MPEG and other technologies developed by Bell Labs, a division of predecessor company American Telephone & Telegraph. Microsoft voluntarily joined the lawsuit in April 2003, and Alcatel was added after it acquired Lucent. The case, involving a number of patents, is pending in U.S. District Court in San Diego, California.

Alcatel-Lucent v. Microsoft

In December 2010, Alcatel-Lucent agreed to pay a total settlement of $137 million for bribing officials in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia, and Taiwan in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).[57] The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Alcatel retained consultants to funnel bribes of over $8 million to government officials in order to obtain and retain lucrative telecommunications contracts.[58][59] Alcatel admitted that it made profits of approximately $48 million as a result of the bribes and was ordered to pay $45 million to settle charges with the SEC and a further $92 million to settle the criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).[60]

Violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act


  • March 2012 – Alcatel-Lucent was selected by MIT's Technology Review to its 2012 TR50 List of the World's Most Innovative Companies. The magazine recognized Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio as a "key innovation".[55]
  • February–March 2012 – Alcatel-Lucent wins the Mobile World Congress Best Infrastructure Technology Award for the lightRadio Network.[56]

The investigators were able to obtain greater capacity ever obtained in underwater data transmission with a single fiber. This experiment was based on the pioneering work of Bell Labs in data channels in a single carrier of 200 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). As speeds and distances to such noise and signal distortion make recovery of the data a real challenge, the researchers used innovative detection techniques and applied a new set of technologies modulation, transmission and processing together with an advanced error correction coding.[54]

  • July 2013 – In a test conducted on the campus of Alcatel-Lucent in Villarceaux (near Paris), the Bell Labs researchers have successfully done Data Transmission from a speed of 31 terabits per second (T−bps) at a distance of 7,200 km, a capacity more than three times higher than the most advanced commercial submarine cables that exist today.

Awards and distinctions

In 2013, there was a Net R&D investment of €2.3 billion (approx. 16% of sales). There are more than 32,000 active patents, more than 3,000 obtained in 2013, and 14,900 pending applications.

In 2006, National Academy of Engineering prize, for work on charge-coupled devices which transform patterns of light into useful digital information. In 2009 they received a Nobel Prize for their invention. The device is widely used in digital cameras, video cameras and modern astronomy.

In 1969, Dennis Ritchie and a team of Bell Labs employees invented the UNIX operating system and the C programming language.

In 1964, Arno Allan Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation. They were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978.

In the late 1950s, Charles Townes and Arthur Shawlow of Bell Labs invented the laser, which has numerous applications, including measuring/cutting in the manufacturing industry and research/surgery in the medical industry. Bell Labs was awarded the laser patent in 1960.

In 1954, Gerald Pearson, Darryl Chapin, and Calvin Fuller invented the solar cell. Telstar, the first active communications satellite also developed by Bell Labs and launched in 1962, used these solar cell batteries as an external renewable source of power once launched. It was the first to carry live television over water, between England and the US.

In 1947, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, William Shockley of Bell Labs invented the transistor. In 1956 they received a Nobel Prize for their invention. The transistor led to an electronics revolution during the post-war boom. The transition from vacuum tubes to transistors enabled all technologies to be built on a smaller scale and use less electricity. Items that before required large dedicated spaces, could now fit into a home or even on a kitchen counter.[53]

In 1937, Clinton Davisson shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for demonstrating the wave nature of matter. His fundamental work is part of the foundation for much of today's solid-state electronics.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first patent for the telephone, and subsequently started AT&T.[52] Bell Labs is named in his honor.


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