Microsoft rejects JFTC finding

So begins a legal process expected to take up to three years

Microsoft has rejected a recommendation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission that certain provisions in license agreements between it and Japanese PC vendors violate the country's antimonopoly code, the company said in a statement.

The provisions restrict possible legal action by Microsoft's licensees should they believe the software company has infringed on their patents. Such provisions run counter to section 19 of the Antimonopoly Act, the JFTC said on July 13 when it presented Microsoft with its recommendation. It had asked Microsoft to remove the provisions from the licenses.

"After careful examination of the contents of the Recommendation, Microsoft has decided that it is unable to accept the demands of the Recommendation, and has today informed the JFTC of this decision," it said in a statement.

The JFTC gave the software maker until Monday to either accept or reject its recommendation.

The rejection comes as no surprise. Microsoft said on July 13 that it disagreed with the JFTC's findings and planned to reject them. The JFTC also said the same day that it expected to receive a rejection from Microsoft around the deadline day.

By choosing to disagree with the JFTC, Microsoft is setting the wheels of a hearing process in motion. The entire process is likely to take between two and three years to complete, Takujiro Kono, deputy director of the JFTC's First Special Investigation Division, has said. Notice of a hearing will likely be issued around one month after the rejection is received, he said. The hearing will likely take place a month after the notice is posted.

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