Microsoft Corporation has now tried twice to remove Harvard University professor Lawrence Lessig from the antitrust case it is now fighting against the federal government and 19 states. This second attempt was prompted when Judge Jackson asked Lessig to supply the court with information on product tying, one of the charges Microsoft is accused of.
"Professor Lessig appears to the Court to be uniquely qualified to offer advice on a subject few other academics in the country are sufficiently knowledgeable to address at all, and he has, to the court's knowledge, no financial or professional interest in the outcome of the case one way or another," wrote Jackson in his decision. "The Court is confident in its ability to assess Professor Lessig's submission critically without being affected by any occult bias of which he might be possessed."
In its motion to dismiss Lessig, Microsoft argued that the professor was anti-Microsoft, as evidenced by his comments about the company and his role as advisor to Red Hat software, a Microsoft competitor. Lessig has compared Microsoft's role in the computer industry to that of AT&T, which held a phone service monopoly until its breakup in 1984.
Previous to this matter, Lessig was appointed "special master" in the Microsoft antitrust case, though he was removed by the Court of Appeals, which ruled that the case didn't warrant such an appointment