Google vs Microsoft - Seconds away, Round 1

Written by Jason Cundall

September 7, 2005 | 13:35

Tags: #case #court #fight #steve-ballmer

Companies: #google #microsoft

After Barmy Ballmer's oubursts, the real fight has begun between Google and Microsoft over former Redmond employee Kai-Fu Lee , as both companies lawyers began to duke it out in court:

SEATTLE--Attorneys for Microsoft and Google faced off before a state court judge here Tuesday, arguing whether former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee should be allowed to start work for the search company before a trial determines whether he violated a non-compete contract.

Microsoft is asking King County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez to issue a preliminary injunction that would block Lee from working for Google before the trial, which is slated for January. The judge already issued a temporary restraining order in July. Google argues that if Lee is kept off the job until the trial, he will miss the important autumn recruiting season in China, which often determines where Chinese college students will work after they graduate.

"This is a case about whether Dr. Lee should be required to live up to his promise," Microsoft's lawyer, Jeffrey Johnson, said in opening arguments of the two-day hearing. Johnson is a lawyer with Preston Gates & Ellis, a Seattle firm.

More from here.

It's unclear from reports whether Steve attended the opening of the court case - but due to the lack of obscenities and flying furniture, it's probably safe to assume that he didn't.

Is Lee in the wrong? Has he broken his vows with Holy Redmond Church, and will burn for all eternity? Or is he just a guy trying to get a job with another hyper successful organisation? It's up to the courts to decide - but it doesn't stop us from discussing the fate and or transgressions of Dr Lee and his prospective employers in the news forum, does it?
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