Court thwarts MS move over RealNetworks

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SEATTLE - In a setback to Microsoft, A judge in California denied a request by Microsoft Corp. to move its antitrust lawsuit with RealNetworks Inc. to its home state of Washington. The order denying the motion by Northern District of California Judge James Ware, issued on Thursday means that the trial will go forward in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley where many of Microsoft's competitors are based.


Seattle-based RealNetworks filed its $1 billion lawsuit against the world's largest software maker in December, claiming that Microsoft unfairly promoted its own software for playing audio and video on computers and over the Internet.

Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, just outside Seattle, said it was "disappointed by the Judge's decision because we believe that this case should be tried in Washington where both companies are located.

"But we are prepared to vigorously defend against these allegations in San Jose," a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

When it filed its lawsuit, RealNetworks said it chose San Jose because many key witnesses were nearby.

"We believe the decision is the right one and look forward to presenting our case to a jury in San Jose," a RealNetworks spokesman said.

® Reuters