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.