US Report: Microsoft and DoJ ask for more time

The scheduled September 8 start date for the antitrust case between the US Department of Justice and Microsoft is looking a little shaky.

According to sources close to the case, the DoJ and Microsoft have jointly agreed to petition District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson for a two-week delay. The reason: the amount of time being spent trying to accommodate the public at the depositions of Microsoft executives, including Chairman and CEO Bill Gates.

Earlier this week, several media organisations, including Ziff-Davis, The New York Times, Reuters and The Seattle Times, fought for and won the right to attend the depositions. However, before Jackson ruled in the organisations' favour, he ordered the parties involved to create a manageable process that would accommodate the public yet protect Microsoft's trade secrets.

A joint request for a delay doesn't necessarily mean it will be granted, said Rich Gray, Intellectual Property and Antitrust Partner with Bergeson, Eliopoulos, Grady & Gray in the US. "Even when both parties agree and ask for a delay, that does not mean the judge is going to grant it," Gray said. "In this case, he has set aside four weeks. If he grants a delay, he has to find a way to fill the first two weeks and then find a way to clear out two weeks on the end."