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Borland Sues Microsoft, Says It Raided Staff

May 08, 1997|From Times Wire Services

Software maker Borland International Inc. said Wednesday that it is suing Microsoft Corp., accusing the industry behemoth of raiding it for top software engineers and marketing managers in a bid to gain confidential information and impair competition.

Borland said it filed an unfair-competition lawsuit against Microsoft that asks that Microsoft be barred from such practices and seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Borland Chief Executive Delbert Yocam said Microsoft's actions could threaten his company's effort to turn itself around after a year of financial losses. The company, once a major maker of personal computer software, has scaled back drastically in recent years to concentrate on software tools, programs used to create applications.

Scotts Valley-based Borland claims that Microsoft used millions of dollars in signing bonuses to hire away 34 of its top software architects, engineers and marketing managers over the last 30 months. It alleges that Microsoft put many of these people in strategic positions similar to ones they held at Borland.

The suit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose.

Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said the company had not yet seen a copy of Borland's suit and could not comment on its specifics. But he said that Microsoft believes the suit is without merit.

Shares of Borland fell 19 cents to close at $6.69 in Nasdaq trading, while Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft shares declined $1.81 cents to close at $115.50, also on Nasdaq.

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