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Google Wins Case over Microsoft and Employees NonCompete
Brett_Tabke




msg:1235906
 7:39 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

A Washington state judge has cleared the way for Google Inc. to hire a former Microsoft executive to head its Chinese research and development center so long as the employee does not recruit from Microsoft.

Reuters [in.today.reuters.com]

 

Chico_Loco




msg:1235907
 7:41 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I bet microsoft are bulling today! KICK.

jbgilbert




msg:1235908
 7:58 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gotta believe "Mr Bill" does not like this very much!

Not suprizing though, most "non-comp" agreements are not worth the paper they are printed on.

fashezee




msg:1235909
 8:03 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Big Bill has been sweeping up the talent for years; karma is inevitable. Maybe they should invest in them colorful balls!

digitalghost




msg:1235910
 8:12 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google wins?

restricted Lee to recruiting for Google in China and to talking to government officials about getting a license to do business there but said Lee cannot work on technologies such as search or speech.

Pyrrhic victory.

mikko123




msg:1235911
 8:33 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

"We are really pleased with the judge's order," Tom Burt, deputy general counsel for Microsoft, said Tuesday. "For $10 million, (Lee) can interview students and be a leasing agent," he said, referring to Lee's purported salary at Google. The order "reduces him to being, at least until the outcome of trial, the most highly compensated HR (human resources) manager ever."

Let the spin begin...

Green2K




msg:1235912
 9:10 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think to say that Google has won the case is misleading, in the title of this message thread.

I read it as purely that he can do the hiring but is specifically excluded from working on any search technology.

Green2K

volatilegx




msg:1235913
 9:18 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

However, in his order, the judge enjoined Lee and his new employer from working on any product or service that relies on confidential information tied to search, natural language processing and speech recognition he obtained while working for Microsoft. Google lawyers had agreed to these specific restrictions ahead of the ruling, a Google spokesman said.

Spin, nothing... this is very clearly a victory for Microsoft. "Google Wins Case" is a joke. As others have said, what Google now has is an overpaid HR director.

iamlost




msg:1235914
 9:52 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is a victory for Google - note that Google lawyers approved the wording and that it explicitly does not stop him from research, development, etc - only from using confidential information obtained while working for Misrosoft.

As such information can likely be "reverse engineered" and presented differently I would say Mr. Lee can set about business pretty much as usual.

And any "infringement" claimed as serendipitous independent Chinese technological leadership :-) by other talented G employees.

Also: both companies can afford court forever (which takes care of the US arena) and the enormous non-US market could care less about US court findings.

Rather amusing to see MSFT getting what they've so often given.

digitalghost




msg:1235915
 10:24 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> does not stop him from research, development, etc

Yes, it does. If that work involves search, or speech.

People that hate MS can be happy, and people that hate Google can be happy. Both of them are spending boatloads of money on attorneys.

cayleyv




msg:1235916
 10:44 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

what happens in 2-4 years when Google China launches a new product? MS can sue for everything, claiming breach of Lee's contract. How can Google prove Lee never does product development work? I see mountains of future litigation.

walkman




msg:1235917
 11:55 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Google Wins Case over Microsoft and Employees NonCompete

misleading title.

shri




msg:1235918
 2:33 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> How can Google prove Lee never does product development work? I see mountains of future litigation.

By adding three layers of compliance officers... just like the investment houses do. Innovation at its best ....

walkman




msg:1235919
 2:47 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> By adding three layers of compliance officers... just like the investment houses do. Innovation at its best ....

hahaha.

Only Google really knows why they (REALLY) hired him. If they hired him to do what he was doing at MSN, MSFT won, but if they are paying him some $10 mil to hire the best Chinese students, Google won.

I admit, I'm not up to speed how competitive the hiring is in China, but from my chair here (somewhere in NE USA), it seems that in adition to the name and technology, that $10 mil would've gone a long way to pay those students some extra $$ to join Google without this guy. If you give a check for $100K to 100 top level students in China, just as a signing bonus, I bet they'd be thrilled. Let's face it, $$ talks, and if only innovation and company culture mattered, they'd join Google anyway. But I also know that $10 million is not much to Google, considering the circumstances.

as I said, only a few people really know who won. MSFT can't stop this guy from making a living, so we already knew he'd work at some capacity.

texasville




msg:1235920
 4:40 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

And all the attorneys are very happy. But, I think ms won because he can't work on anything he is expert in. MS has been working on this stuff forever in one form or another. Even some footnote or memo dragged off some underlings computer (at ms) gets tied to any google technology that he works on...rights go to microsoft. That's what no compete is all about.

Namaste




msg:1235921
 5:51 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The title is completely misleading. This is an interim order

DaveN




msg:1235922
 11:29 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The trial is in January..

DaveN

paulj




msg:1235923
 3:21 pm on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The key phrase in the article which relates to what Lee is allowed to do with search and is, "Google lawyers had agreed to these specific restrictions ahead of the ruling, a Google spokesman said."

So Google was expecting this ahead of time and obviously have some plans that either sidestep the issue or don't involve the direct issue of him using his MS knowledge at Google at all.

It's a bit strong to say he's an overpaid HR person when Google seems to have known and agreed to those terms ahead of time.

Also lets not forget - unlike the USA - in Asia relationships often mean more than $$s. I'm sure Google is banking on that as well.

RailMan




msg:1235924
 3:35 pm on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>People that hate MS can be happy, and people that
>>hate Google can be happy. Both of them are spending
>>boatloads of money on attorneys.

and what about those of us that hate attorneys? don't we have the right to be happy too? :)

soned




msg:1235925
 3:18 am on Sep 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

isn't the non-compete clause good for 1 year only? after 1 year Lee and google can do what whaterever they want?

herb




msg:1235926
 2:09 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Judge ordered a tentative stay in Web search company Google Inc.'s lawsuit against Microsoft
Corp., dealing a blow to Google's fight over the hiring of a former Microsoft official.

Reuters article [today.reuters.com]

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