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Google and Microsoft both claim victory in court

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The cliché that no one wins in court but the lawyers was turned on its head yesterday when both Google and Microsoft claimed victory in their ongoing fight over former Redmond employee Kai-Fu Lee.

Microsoft was in court to stop Lee from joining Google China - in July it gained a temporary injunction to stop Lee taking up his post. Google employed Lee to set up and run its Chinese development centre.

Yesterday the judge imposed an injunction on Lee: he can work for Google as long as he doesn't recruit other MS staff or use confidential information. Microsoft described this as wider than the original injunction and would happily end the case if Google accepted the restrictions as permanent.

The statement says: "We are pleased with our victory in court today. The court entered an injunction that restricts the work Dr. Lee can do for Google, preventing him from working on speech, natural language and search technologies, as well as setting the overall research and development course for Google China."

So far so clear. The situation gets more confusing when you look at Google's general counsel's blog (when did lawyers get blogs?).

Nicole Wong, associate general counsel, says of Google's reaction to the court's decision: "We're thrilled, and he's excited to get right to work on several big things..."

Microsoft's statement meanwhile says the injunction: "Restricts Dr. Lee to limited interviewing and site location activities."

If you want to take your very own journey through the looking glass, Microsoft's statement is here and Google's here.®

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