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Microsoft Corporation v. Commission of the European Communities

Court of First Instance (Grand Chamber)
Case T-201/04 (2007)


Facts

The Commission of the European Communities (the Commission) (defendant) found that Microsoft (plaintiff) abused its dominant position in multiple product markets in various ways in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). One abuse the Commission found was that Microsoft had a 60 percent market share in work-group server operating systems. For other companies to create software that ran on servers running Microsoft operating systems, knowledge of certain trade-secret protocol information was required. Microsoft would not release this information or allow its use. Therefore, companies could not create products to compete with Microsoft products. The Commission ordered Microsoft to release the protocol information and allow other companies to use it. Microsoft sought review in the Court of First Instance, arguing that the Commission’s order constituted a forced licensing of intellectual property and trade secrets in violation of European law.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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