Computer Crime Research Center


Google vs Microsoft, round 2

Date: September 01, 2005
Source: CNET
By: Ed Frauenheim, CNET and Ina Fried, ZDNet

Google asks court to void Lee's Microsoft pact, discusses another chapter in the case that took place last week when Google asked a federal judge in California to rule that Dr. Kai-Fu Lee's contract with MS is "unenforceable." Dr. Lee is a former MS exec who was Google hired in July to head a new research center in China.

Google has now asked that federal court judge to--as a matter of law--rule on Google's behalf without a trial. In court papers filed Friday, Google argued that "this motion for summary judgment is made on the grounds that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact" and that the noncompete clause of Microsoft's employment contract violates California law.

Losing the services of Kai-Fu Lee for the rest of this year would have a profound effect on Google's recruiting efforts in China, the search engine company has argued in its legal battle with Microsoft.

In court papers filed last week, Google also claimed that Microsoft's lawsuit over Lee's defection is driven by the Redmond, Wash.-based company's fear that, because of Lee's "powerful reputation" among Chinese students, "many of the students both companies seek to recruit would go to Google, not Microsoft."

The two tech giants are locked in a complex and bitter dispute over Lee, who left an executive post at Microsoft in July to lead a new Google research and development center in China and serve as president of its Chinese operations. Microsoft promptly sued, claiming Lee would be breaking a noncompete agreement in assuming his new role.
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