Microsoft Sues Google for Stealing Employee Kai-Fu Lee
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Is it a case of sour grapes, or good business? Microsoft this week has sued Google. Not over technology or copyright. Nope. Over poaching one of their top executives, Executive Vice President Kai-Fu Lee.

It’s no secret that Microsoft has recently forayed into the Chinese Internet scene, and Google has been there for ages, with their great Google wall of China. Hence there is not a little competition between Microsoft and Google in that arena.


Google’s crime this time has been wooing away Kai-Fu Lee to head Google’s new research lab in China.

Said Microsoft, in the lawsuit which names both Lee and Google, “Accepting such a position with a direct Microsoft competitor like Google violates the narrow noncompetition promise Lee made when he was hired as an executive. Google is fully aware of Lee’s promises to Microsoft, but has chosen to ignore them, and has encouraged Lee to violate them.”

Lee’s employment agreement with Microsoft, where he was most recently a VP in their Interactive Services Division, included a one-year non-complete clause.

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Complained Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel, Tom Burt, “There was no effort by Dr. Lee or Google to try and work out any kind of agreement.”

Dr. Lee’s background is in speech recognition. Kai-Fu Lee had been with Microsoft for seven years, during which time he helped Microsoft’s Natural Interactive Services Division (NISD) to receive forty patents on speech technology. Prior to his time with Microsoft, Kai-Fu Lee was with SGI, before which he was at Apple, where he worked on Quick Time VR.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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