Friday, July 29, 2005

TRO issued in favor of Microsoft

"The equities dictate that a temporary restraining order ... should be entered," wrote Judge Steven Gonzalez. He also ordered Microsoft to post $1 million by Tuesday, which could be used to compensate Google and Lee if Gonzalez or another judge later decides that Microsoft wasn't entitled to the injunction.

Microsoft alleged that its desktop search product (which searches users' hard drives) was "recently developed by Lee's group at Microsoft," and that Lee had responsibility for "managing the creation of new search technologies and methodologies for Microsoft."

But Google and Lee dispute that characterization. "Lee was never responsible for algorithmic Internet search at Microsoft, never saw that code, and never participated in a review," alleged Google in its court papers. What's more, while Lee had "oversight responsibility" for a team dubbed "MSN Search," this responsibility lasted for just one year between 2001 and 2002--at least three years before Microsoft launched its own organic search product in beta late last year--according to Google's papers.

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