Pro-Government Lawyers File New Round of Briefs in Microsoft Case

The most significant brief could be the one from a neutral observer.
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Lawyers sympathetic to the government's antitrust case against Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

filed a stack of new briefs in the case Tuesday.

In separate briefs, the

Software and Information Industry Association

argued that the

Sherman Act

should apply to software, and Robert H. Bork, the former solicitor general and

Court of Appeals

judge, argued that the company's practices hurt consumers.

Bork filed on behalf of the state attorneys general whose cases against the company have been consolidated, while the association filed on behalf of the

Justice Department

.

And Lawrence Lessig, a professor at

Harvard Law School

, turned in a brief requested by the court discussing the history of "tying" arrangements in antitrust cases. The government's case asserts Microsoft illegally tied its Internet browser to the Windows operating system.

The new arguments followed a brief filed Monday on behalf of Microsoft that was signed by prominent legal experts, including former attorneys general.

Lessig's brief may prove the most significant in the new pile on the court's desk, said Joseph Angland, a partner in the antitrust group of the law firm

Dewey Ballantine

, simply because "he presumedly is neutral, whereas the others presumedly are lawyers."

Microsoft also filed Tuesday its own reply to the prosecution's reply to the company's proposed conclusions of law.

In the antitrust case, Judge

Thomas Penfield Jackson

has made a preliminary finding of fact that Microsoft is a monopoly and engages in predatory marketing practices. Judge Richard Posner of the

Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

is supervising negotiations between the company and government lawyers in Chicago that could lead to a settlement.

The latest filings were disclosed Tuesday afternoon. Microsoft's shares closed at 102 15/16, up 5 1/6 or 5.2%.