Microsoft says it would settle employee case

Microsoft would settle a lawsuit filed against Google if a permanent injunction can be agreed to related to a former Microsoft employee now at Google.

If Google would agree to make a preliminary injunction become permanent in a lawsuit Microsoft filed against it related to a former employee who has gone to work for Google, the matter could be settled, Microsoft said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"We can settle this lawsuit tomorrow if Google will agree to take today's preliminary injunction, keep every word without a single change, and enter it as a permanent injunction that will last until July 18, 2006," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said in the prepared statement. Doing so would sidestep a trial and the need to pay lawyers outside of the company, he said.

Judge Steven Gonzalez of Superior Court of Washington State in King County ruled Tuesday that former Microsoft employee Kai-Fu Lee can use "his general knowledge, personal attributes, general reputation and skills" to recruit and set up staff at a Google research and development facility in China between now and when the lawsuit is scheduled for trial in January.

Lee is not allowed to recruit from Microsoft employees or to use confidential information from Microsoft, the judge ruled. That aspect of the ruling is partly what led Microsoft to declare "victory in court today" after the Tuesday hearing. Lee is not allowed to work on speech, natural language or search technologies at Google, which announced on July 19 that it had hired him as president of its China operations and to open the research and development center, which is set to happen in the third quarter of this year.

He had been corporate vice president of Microsoft's Natural Interactive Services Division and also was involved in Microsoft's China operations. Google's announcement that Lee had been hired prompted Microsoft to file the lawsuit, arguing that he had breached a noncompete and confidentiality agreement he signed when became a Microsoft vice president in 2000. Google and Lee countersued Microsoft in July.

A spokesman for Google did not return a message seeking comment on Microsoft's statement about settling the lawsuit.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Weil

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?