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Microsoft Asks Supreme Court to Drop Case

Microsoft Corp. today filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, entreating the court to deny the Justice Department's direct appeal and remand the government's case against the company to the Court of Appeals.

Microsoft's (www.microsoft.com) filing with the Supreme Court, called a Jurisdictional Statement, consists of two sections: a summary of Microsoft's statements and arguments in the antitrust case so far, and a list of reasons why Microsoft believes the Supreme Court should remand the case to a lower court.

In the first section of the Jurisdictional Statement, Microsoft argues that a "full and fair consideration" of the appeals as recommended by the Justice Department (www.usdoj.gov) would impose an "extraordinary" burden on the Supreme Court, given the massive trial record that would need to be reviewed. Microsoft contends that the appeals are better suited for review by the lower court.

Among Microsoft's arguments in the first section are the company's belief that "the proceedings ... web badly awry from the outset." The company accuses the Justice Department, and specifically Assistant Attorney General Joel I. Klein, of appearing to focus the government's case on the Windows and browser issues but later "transform[ing] their case beyond recognition." Microsoft states that because the district court wished to keep the trial "compressed and expedited," it assured them that it would stick to the case at hand, but then expanded its case. The court, says Microsoft, "refused to give Microsoft additional time" to respond to the additional charges.

Microsoft also cites the presentation of what it believes to be inadmissible evidence at the original trial.

The federal government and the 19 states involved in the lawsuit have until August 15 to respond to Microsoft's filing. The company then has until August 22 to respond. The Supreme Court will then decide whether or not to directly review the Microsoft case or send it down to a lower court. - Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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