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Clash of IT; Global Lawsuits Expected in Next Five Years

Clash of IT; Global Lawsuits Expected in Next Five Years

Posted April. 11, 2007 07:57,   


Brad Smith, chief legal officer of Microsoft (MS), said on April 10 that numerous lawsuits are expected in the IT sector in the next five years.

Also the senior vice president in charge of legal issues at MS, Smith ranks third in the company’s chain of command and heads a law firm in which about 300 MS lawyers and 100 partner law firms are working for the computer giant.

He made a recent visit to Korea to check legal issues in Asia and had an exclusive interview with the Dong-A Ilbo at the Westin Chosun Seoul.

Smith said, “IT-related technologies and businesses are clashing with each other. This is happening because of the unprecedented speed of globalization and technological convergence.”

He added, “When the dust settles, new criteria will be made. But we will continue to face problems.”

Smith is saying that rapid legal changes in the technology sector will be made in the next 10 to 20 years, while new legal criteria are being made.

Recently, MS has been faced with an unprecedented number of legal disputes. MS was ordered to pay $1.5 billion in damages in the patent dispute with Alcatel-Lucent in the first ruling. Making matters worse was MS being fined by the European Commission to pay billions of dollars for not making information of its Windows operation system available.

Smith added, “MS plays a ‘litmus test’ or ‘guinea pig’ that sets precedents and creates new laws. That role is hard to play, but it can set precedents that affect other businesses and countries.”

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