Judge Koh also ruled out emails that were presented as evidence of fraudulent concealment by Microsoft of its hands-off lists for hires. " Rather than indicate that the Hands-Off List should be kept secret, these emails show Microsoft employees documenting and readily discussing the existence and content of the Hands-Off List," Judge Koh wrote.
Microsoft had argued that all of the alleged non-solicitation agreements were unilateral agreements in which it agreed not to solicit from its partners in order to “protect Microsoft’s business partners, customers, vendors, and affiliated companies from Microsoft’s recruiting efforts," according to court records. One of the companies in the list of 25, for example, is Microsoft's public relations firm.
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