Internet

MS motions for contempt of court

Microsoft says Caldera has violated a protective order issued in their bitter antitrust case.

Microsoft has accused Caldera of being in contempt of court for allegedly violating a protective order issued in their bitter antitrust case, both sides confirmed.

Caldera's chairman and chief executive, Bryan Sparks, said he had not seen the contempt of court motion but was informed of its contents. According to Sparks, Microsoft accused Caldera of divulging confidential information in the case, through, among other things, "statements made in a deposition."

Events of recent weeks prompted the move, according to Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan. "There seem to be continuous leaks of Microsoft confidential information, which is in violation of the protective order" issued in the case, he said. "It's unfortunate that Caldera is apparently violating the protective order and trying this case in the press with out-of-context snippets from internal Microsoft documents."

Sparks denied that Caldera has leaked any confidential information.

Caldera filed the suit in the July of 1996, alleging that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive measures to defeat a product known as DR-DOS, which competed with MS-DOS. The vast majority of the documents filed in the case are subject to a protective order, which seals them from the public view.

In recent weeks, various media outlets have reported two key pieces of evidence in the suit. The first concerned email allegedly sent between Microsoft engineers who discussed inserting a bug in Windows 3.1 that would prevent DR-DOS from running properly. A second dealt with testimony given by former Microsoft employee Stephanie Reichel, which allegedly claims evidence in the case was destroyed. Microsoft has publicly denied both charges.