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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?