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April 10, 2006

Microsoft to claim EU disclosure ruling violates international law

Posted by David Hunter at 9:51 AM ET.

The Microsoft appeal of the European Commission’s 2004 antitrust ruling is starting later this month and Bloomberg News is reporting the positions that each side are planning to take:

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, will tell a European Union appeals court that an EU antitrust order violates international law by forcing it to share information with competitors, court documents show.

Microsoft is seeking to overturn a 2004 ruling and annul a 497 million-euro ($601 million) fine during a five-day hearing starting April 24 at the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg. The company was ordered to license so-called network protocols, which would let rivals make products that can share files and printers with the Windows operating system.

The protocols are “valuable trade secrets,” Microsoft will say, according to documents summarizing both sides’ arguments obtained by Bloomberg News. Disclosure “has the effect of denying it the right to reserve to itself the exploitation of its inventions,” the documents say.

As for the European Commission response, they will claim the decision was justified because Microsoft abused the dominance of Windows and:

The commission will say Microsoft hasn’t proven that the protocols are innovative and must be protected under intellectual property rules, the documents show.

“Microsoft has failed to demonstrate that the protocols for which it must disclose specifications embody hitherto secret and intrinsically valuable inventions,” said the documents, outlining the commission’s argument. The report includes a 106- page summary of Microsoft’s and the EU’s case and 45 pages of evidence submitted by outside parties on behalf of each side.

More details by following the link.

Filed under Antitrust, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, Microsoft

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One Response to “Microsoft to claim EU disclosure ruling violates international law”

  1. Get your scorecard for the Microsoft EU grudge match! -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Next Monday marks the start of the week-long hearing before the EU Court of First Instance where Microsoft will try to overthrow the 2004 antitrust ruling against them. We’ve already had a preview of the arguments on each side, but Reuters has prepared a scorecard of the issues and the players as well as this summary by David Lawsky and Sabina Zawadzki. In case all the Microsoft vs EU match ups are confusing, here’s the net: The court will not deal with the side issue of a Commission threat to fine Microsoft up to 2 million euros a day for failing to comply with the interoperability order. [...]

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