Google Pursues Legal Fight Against Microsoft In Federal Court - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
9/26/2005
08:20 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Pursues Legal Fight Against Microsoft In Federal Court

It appears that Google doesn't much care for Microsoft's offer to settle its lawsuit to enforce former researcher Kai-Fu Lee's employment agreement. The search company on Friday filed additional documents in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., arguing against Microsoft's motion to dismiss Google's federal countersuit.

It appears that Google doesn't much care for Microsoft's offer to settle its lawsuit to enforce former researcher Kai-Fu Lee's employment agreement. The search company on Friday filed additional documents in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., arguing against Microsoft's motion to dismiss Google's federal countersuit.On Sept. 13, Microsoft won a preliminary injunction in a Washington State court that prevents Lee from working for Google in a substantive capacity. Come mid-October, Google will have a chance to undo that order if it can convince federal judge Ronald Whyte that the laws of California and not Washington should be used to settle the dispute over Lee's employment.

With regard to employment contracts, the state laws of California and Washington differ considerably: Washington allows noncompete clauses if they're found to be "reasonable." California doesn't recognize them at all.

Citing California policy, Google's attorneys note that an employee's interest in his or her mobility and career betterment trumps a company's interest in limiting competition when no laws have been broken. This policy against noncompetition clauses, they argue, "has been credited as a major reason for the success of the Silicon Valley."

People used to credit stock options. That was back when they were worth something.

In an era of increased employee mobility and increased reliance on intellectual assets, the Kai-Fu Lee dispute raises difficult questions. Is Microsoft justified in placing its business interests above the business interests of an individual? Did Kai-Fu Lee break any laws when contemplating and planning his change of corporate loyalties? What do employees owe employers and vice versa?

It would, of course, be easier to ignore all these questions and let Microsoft duke it out with Google in a game of Red Rover. You know it'd be fun to see Steve Ballmer call out, "Red rover, red rover, send Eric Schmidt over!"

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll