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Friday, 5 September 2008

Microsoft Monday: it was defeat by a judicial whisker ...

The IPKat's friend Stephanie Bodoni together with Matthew Newman (both of Bloomberg) have just stunned him with the revelation that Microsoft might have made a giant mistake by settling antitrust charges brought by the European Commision after coming out on the wrong side of a ruling by the Court of First Instance. The software maker didn't know it was one vote away from winning. The story runs that the judges voted 7-6 against Microsoft on 'Microsoft Monday', 17 September 2007, according to two anonymous informants who reportedly had direct knowledge of the outcome. The two informants declined to be identified because EU court votes are confidential.

Right: "Divided We Stand" --the new motto of the Court of First Instance?

Says the IPKat, Microsoft may as well have carried its arguments to the full court. Last year Merpel said she was 100% sure that Microsoft would appeal, not merely because of the magnitude of the fine but because of the poor quality of the CFI's reasoning and the potentially damaging effect of its words, if read liberally, upon other IP rights and their owners.


Anonymous said...

What do you mean by IP rights?

Anonymous said...

Where exactly should I look for the "poor quality reasoning"?

Merpel only stated "Microsoft has two months in which to appeal (on points of law only) and it must be a 100% certainty that that company will do so", which seems to be more a statement about Microsoft (plenty of money to finance an appeal) than a statement about the quality of the ruling.

Anonymous said...

"according to two anonymous informants who reportedly had direct knowledge of the outcome"

Does that merit reporting at all?

Anonymous said...

IPKat should say "...Microsoft might as well have carried its arguments to the full Court...". This is not mere pedantry (though the promotion of all kinds of pedantry is part of the Department's brief). To many English readers, if you say 'may' about something in the past, you imply that you don't know if it's happened or not. So, although it has happened, you may make such readers think that perhaps it didn't (or that you don't know if it did or not). It is not good to irritate readers, but worse to mislead them.


Jeremy said...

DME: I went to rap the IPKat's knuckles over this misleading usage of "may" for "might". He tells me that Collins English Dictionary says of this usage that it is "frequently encountered ... but regarded as less acceptable". He adds that "less acceptable" is still acceptable and is not a aynonym for "unacceptable" or wrong".

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your support, Jeremy. Departmental policy is that of officials everywhere - that the good is the enemy of the best. But 'less acceptable' is not even good - mediocre, rather. IP Kat, aim higher!


Anonymous said...

"aynonym"? "a aynonym"?

No slips are too obvious or trivial for us to overlook them.


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