A former Microsoft executive can immediately begin recruiting staff for a Google development center in China, rather than waiting until after a January trial, a Washington state judge ruled Tuesday.
Microsoft had asked the King County Superior Court to extend a temporary order banning Kai-Fu Lee from starting the work he was hired to do at Google, arguing that it would violate a one-year noncompete agreement he signed when he became a Microsoft vice president in 2000. Google argued that the contract does not prevent him from doing recruiting work in China.
In his 13-page ruling, Judge Steven Gonzalez restricted Lee to recruiting for Google in China and to talking to government officials about getting a license to do business there but said Lee cannot work on technologies such as search or speech.
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