The trade secret and copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Symantec subsidiary Veritas against Microsoft is proceeding to trial in Washington, as we discussed here, when the Court denied Microsoft’s motion for summary judgment. Microsoft had also filed counterclaims in the Washington lawsuit against Symantec for breach of contract and for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The agreement between the companies was for Symantec to provide source code in certain software to Microsoft for use with its operating software and servers; however, there were specific limitations on the use of the software which Symantec alleged Microsoft exceeded. The agreement also included the following jurisdictional provision:
VERITAS consents to jurisdiction and venue being solely in the state and federal courts sitting in the Western District of the State of Washington with respect to any claim or counterclaim brought by VERITAS in connection with this Agreement. MICROSOFT consents to jurisdiction and venue being solely in the state and federal courts sitting in the Northern District of the State of California with respect to any claim (including a counterclaim) brought by MICROSOFT in connection with this Agreement.
On summary judgment, the Court dismissed Microsoft’s contract-based counterclaims because of the unambiguous and express contractual language. The Court was not persuaded by Microsoft’s argument that enforcing the bargained-for forum selection clause would be unreasonable under the circumstances. Nor was the Court moved by Microsoft’s argument that Veritas had waived this defense by waiting to raise it on summary judgment because the defense was clearly stated in Veritas’ earlier filed Reply to Microsoft’s counterclaims. Click To Read The Order.