Appeals Court Sets Rigid Deadlines for the Microsoft Trial

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said today Microsoft has until November 27 to file its primary brief for the appeal of its antitrust conviction. Microsoftis legal team had attempted to thwart the onset of deliberations for at least six months. Nevertheless, the Redmond giantis lawyers gracefully acquiesced to the courtis brisk timetable.

A Microsoft spokesperson fawned, "We believe this is a fair and reasonable schedule, and we look forward to making our appellate argument to the court. We are very confident of our case and believe this District Court judgment will be reversed due to a number of factual, legal and procedural errors committed during this process."

The government must deliver its main brief by January 12, with Microsoftis reply arriving by Jan. 29. Final briefs are due February 9, with oral arguments scheduled for February 26 and 27. The court emphasized it would not grant any extensions of these deadlines.

Recently, the Supreme Court decided to let the appeals court handle the case before considering once again whether the highest court in the land should hear the case. Microsoft lost round one of the trial in the court room of US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who found the company guilty of violating US antitrust laws and ordered the software behemoth be divided into two competing corporations.

According to CNET News, "Antitrust experts warned not to read too much into the scheduling order. The decision on scheduling has little, if anything, to do with the caseis merits, they said."