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Kai-Fu Lee Case Goes To Microsoft

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-10-28

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A federal judge in California issued a stay in the court battle between Google and Microsoft, which means Lee will remain a high-priced talent recruiter until at least January.

The fight over Lee's non-compete agreement will happen in Washington state, just as Microsoft had hoped. A temporary stay issued by Ronald Whyte two weeks ago in the Northern District Court in California will stay in force, TechWeb reported.

That stay means the court will wait until after a January trial in Washington before further action can be taken in California. Microsoft has a more favorable venue in Washington, which does not have the same views on non-compete agreements that California does.

Google acted upon Lee's approach to them to offer him a position heading up research and development in their new mainland China offices. Microsoft contested the hiring on the grounds that Lee's non-compete agreement required him to sit out for a year before working for a competitor.

In response, Google and Lee have argued that his work with Microsoft did not touch on fields he would work on with Google. The courts have permitted Lee to work on human resources functions, but not search-related research.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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