In the Case of Google’s Dr. Kai-Fu Lee: California Judge Sides (For Now) with Microsoft

The Associated Press, Reuters, and other sources report from that a California judge has sided with Microsoft and issued a, “tentative court ruling that would limit the search engine company’s legal options for at least another three months,” according to a report by Michael Liedtke from the Associated Press.

From the AP

Lawyers from the high-tech titans appeared in federal court a few hours after Judge Ronald Whyte indicated he will pause a Google lawsuit that seeks to invalidate a noncompete agreement that’s preventing Kai-Fu Lee from carrying out all his duties as the new director of the company’s research center in China.

As soon as he took the Google job this year, Lee moved from Microsoft’s home state of Washington to a Silicon Valley home near Google’s Mountain View, Calif.-based headquarters.

That transfer has become the pivotal point in the tug-of-war over Lee’s services because Washington honors noncompete agreements while California law doesn’t.

From Reuters

But Judge Ronald Whyte of the U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Jose declined to say what his final ruling would be in the suit by Google, which is seeking to override the jurisdiction of a Washington state court in a related case. The stay order by the federal court, if maintained by Judge Whyte, would set the stage for the Washington state case to go to trial on Jan. 9, 2006, according to attorneys working for Microsoft.

Much more in the AP story: Judge Tentatively Sides With Microsoft
and the Reuters story: Judge stays Google suit in Microsoft hiring case.

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