Google Wants Lee's MS Contract Voided

Google has petitioned a California federal court judge to rule that Kai-Fu Lee's contract with Microsoft is unenforceable so he can begin his employment with the search giant.

The legal battle between Google and Microsoft began on July 18 when the Redmond company announced that it would persue legal action against Google. Microsoft argued that Lee was breaking confidentiality and non-competition agreements he signed before working for Microsoft.


A Seattle court agreed with Microsoft on July 29, preventing the hiring of Lee. A hearing is tentatively scheduled on that ruling for January 9, 2006.

Google in the filing said that "this motion for summary judgment is made on the grounds that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact" that under California laws, Microsoft's non-compete clause is against the law.

To further its claim, Google produced papers that show that Lee is now fully a California resident and should be protected under state laws.

Microsoft dismissed this notion in a statement to BetaNews. "Dr. Lee and Google have a legal obligation to honor the agreement Dr. Lee made with Microsoft, and we don't believe that this latest filing will persuade anyone otherwise," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

"Washington state court is the proper place for this hearing to take place."

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