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MazzaDesign
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Washington state judge temporarily blocked a former Microsoft Corp. vice-president from heading up rival Google Inc.'s new research center in China.

The ruling by Kings County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez late Thursday marked a small victory in a wider battle to keep Kai-Fu Lee from working at Google.

Microsoft sued Lee and Google last week, claiming the former head of its Beijing research and development center had violated his employment contract by agreeing to take a job at Google.

Microsoft and Google (Research) are directly competing in Web search and also have begun competing for talented people.

Google plans to open a new facility in China later this year to develop new technologies and attract computer science researchers. A final location has not yet been chosen.

The world's largest software maker claimed Lee was privy to propriety information regarding the company's search technologies and business strategies in China.

While at Microsoft (Research), Lee, a former Carnegie Mellon University researcher who previously worked for Apple Computer Inc. (Research), managed groups developing speech recognition and other interactive technologies for computers.

In granting a temporary restraining order requested by Microsoft, Gonzalez forbade Lee from working on Google projects or research relating to search technologies, natural language processing or speech technologies, and business strategies that would be "competitive" with fields he studied while at Microsoft.

A trial is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2006, although Google may contest the temporary restraining order in September.

Gonzalez also prohibited Lee from disclosing trade secrets or proprietary information learned while he was employed at Microsoft and it forbade Google from "attempting to induce" Microsoft employees to work for Google.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said his legal team was trying to enforce the terms of Lee's contract rather than stopping his employment at Google altogether.

"In our industry, intellectual property rights need to be protected," Smith said after the ruling.

Google, which had earlier called Microsoft's lawsuit "a shocking display of hubris," downplayed the importance of the ruling, calling it a "temporary measure to maintain the status quo."

"We're gratified that the judge recognized that all Google and Dr. Lee have to do is avoid having Dr. Lee do anything competitive with what he did at Microsoft," said Nicole Wong, Google's associate general counsel. "As we have said all along, we have no intention of having him do that."

Google had argued that Microsoft's lawsuit was an intimidation tactic designed to prevent employees from leaving Microsoft. The company separately has countersued Microsoft in California, asking a court to invalidate the Microsoft contract.

In a sworn declaration filed on Wednesday, Lee said that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates told him during a meeting on July 15 that he would be sued, adding that the company needed "to stop Google."

A Microsoft spokeswoman said she could not verify Gates' statement but said it would be "not surprising, given the fact that Google is a direct competitor. Dr. Lee is taking his knowledge of our search technology and China business strategies to work for them."
shr3dd
my my, when will it end? am i the only one out there who thinks that google should stick to search related fields and m$ should stick to OSes and things of that nature?
mengshi200
person with ability should be flow freely between enterprise.
Mircrosoft is fault.
mOrpheuS
mengshi200 wrote:
person with ability should be flow freely between enterprise.
Mircrosoft is fault.

yeah...the guy is not a slave after all.
he's free to go to whoever he wishes to work for.
unless ofcourse he's bound by some legal agreement or contract of some sort.
and definitely not if he's having inside information on secret/proprietary technology.

shr3dd wrote:
my my, when will it end? am i the only one out there who thinks that google should stick to search related fields and m$ should stick to OSes and things of that nature?

Yeah, we all know the way we hate M$, but pretty soon we'll learn to hate google the same way.
Nirotu
mOrpheuS wrote:
Yeah, we all know the way we hate M$, but pretty soon we'll learn to hate google the same way.

Never!! NEVER!!! Google is God. GOD!!! NEVER!!!! Google is our savior!!! Worship Google!!! GOOGLE IS GOD!!!

*takes a breather*

sorry, had to get that out. Anyway, i agree with the guy who stated they should stick to their own specialities.
mOrpheuS
Nirotu wrote:
Never!! NEVER!!! Google is God. GOD!!! NEVER!!!! Google is our savior!!! Worship Google!!! GOOGLE IS GOD!!!

ok ok....!!! I get the point Shocked

what I meant was that the idea that made google so popular and much loved, is no more relevant. Two college students created a sleek search engine and manage to beat the big corporates at their own game.. but google is no more the google we all loved...it's become a big corporate itself.
and we all hate big corporates and how they invariably tend to monopolize everything, don't we ? Wink

who wants to drink Google Cola anyways ?
gonzo
- 2 -

- intellectual property laws need revamping
-- and not in the socialiast or pirate friendly ways

- the appaling lack of ethics is starting to show more, and more frightening large scale social consequences
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