Microsoft is again trying to have the public barred from access to future depositions regarding its long running antitrust case.
In a motion filed on 9 January the software giant asked the US District Court for the District of Columbia to end a standing order that allows the press and public to view witness statements.
If granted, Microsoft's request will bar the public and the press from seeing any future depositions in the ongoing case unless later presented at trial, according to Microsoft. The company filed a similar motion ahead of the initial antitrust trial.
In that instance the motion was denied as the court found that, based on the Taking Evidence Act of 1913, the public has the right to attend antitrust actions brought by the US government.
The August 1998 ruling meant that the public was allowed to view seven depositions taken in the original case, including the key deposition of Microsoft chairman and then chief executive Bill Gates.
His performance during questioning came under close scrutiny and drew significant media attention to the trial.
With the case set to return to court on 11 March, Microsoft is looking to avoid a repeat of such detailed examination, at least in this half of the case.
The US Department of Justice and the other states that launched the initial case against Microsoft have already agreed to settle with the company, leaving 10 states, including the District of Columbia, continuing to press their claims against the company.
That situation has resulted in the court splitting the case in two: one to handle the settlement under the original case number; the other to deal with the continuing dispute between Microsoft and the 10 states.
It is in relation to the second case that Microsoft has filed its motion. With the government no longer directly involved with that portion of the case Microsoft maintains that future depositions should be closed.
It contends that the open depositions order only applies to cases in which the federal government is a party, and that would be the other settling case.
Opponents to Microsoft's motion, likely to include leading US newspapers, are expected to argue that the 10 states' case is an extension of the original trial and has, in effect, been brought by the federal government.
Dust storm on Titan only the third Solar System body where such storms have been observed
New technique could enable quantum computers to scale-up to millions of qubits
Systrom and Krieger taking time off "to explore our curiosity and creativity"
Comcast's £29.7bn winning bid more than twice the £13.7bn Rupert Murdoch valued Sky at just eight years ago