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Judge stays Google suit against Microsoft

A federal judge ordered a tentative stay in Google's suit against Microsoft, according to a court Web site, dealing a blow to the Internet company's legal fight over its hiring of a former Microsoft executive.

The parties are scheduled to appear before Judge Ronald Whyte in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, on Friday in connection with the suit. That suit is separate from a related action Microsoft brought in Washington state accusing Google and Kai-Fu Lee of violating a noncompete agreement that Lee had signed with Microsoft.

Google has argued that California, a state that generally does not recognise noncompete clauses, is the proper jurisdiction for the legal dispute.

A Washington state judge ruled last month that Lee can begin helping Google set up operations in China, but placed tough restrictions on him, pending a trial scheduled for January.

Whyte's tentative order did not specify how long the suit would be stayed.

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