MS Asks Court for 60 Days to File Appeal Briefs

Microsoft has asked for 60 days to file its appeal briefs in the antitrust case it lost to the government in June, but the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says that's too much time.

In a filing Monday to the U.S. District Court in Washington, Microsoft asked for 60 days to file its appeal, plus another 30 days to file a response to the government's arguments after they are filed.

Microsoft and the DOJ were required to submit their appeals schedule requests to the court, which will determine what time line is used as the appeal progresses. The DOJ's schedule request is due by Thursday.

Gina Talamona, a spokesman for the DOJ, said today that "Microsoft's proposal would unnecessarily delay the proceedings and postpone resolution of the appeal."

She refused to comment on how much time the government would like to set for the briefs, saying the Justice Department's recommendations will be made in court by Thursday's deadline.

A spokesman for Microsoft Corp. couldn't be reached Tuesday morning.

In its request to the court, Microsoft asked that the normal appeals brief guidelines of 14,000 words for primary briefs and 7,000 words for reply briefs be suspended because of the complexity of the case. Instead, Microsoft asked the court to allow each side to file a 56,000-word main brief and a 28,000-word reply brief in the case -- four times the length of normal appeals briefs.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal and sent it back to a federal appeals court.

Microsoft and DOJ officials had argued over what court should have jurisdiction over the software company's appeal. Microsoft contended it should go through traditional channels and be sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The DOJ argued that it should go before the Supreme Court under the Expediting Act, which allows sensitive antitrust cases to be heard directly by the court.

Microsoft argued that its appeal is warranted because the lawsuit filed against it by the DOJ and 19 U.S. states was full of factual and legal errors.

The case against Microsoft was decided on June 7, when U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered that the company be split in two: an applications company and one focused on operating systems. He also ruled that Microsoft is subject to a set of behavioral remedies. Those remedies have been put on hold until the appeals process is completed.

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