Judge Steven Gonzalez has ruled that Kai-Fu Lee can begin work for Google (GOOG) in China, but added that a noncompete agreement Lee signed with Microsoft (MSFT) is still valid.

Lee will begin working for Google in a limited capacity, and is barred from working on products that he previously was involved with at Microsoft.

Lee worked at Microsoft since 2000 and was specifically involved with Internet search technology.

The full trial is set for January 2006, during which time more details will develop and a verdict will be made.

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