A top Microsoft official has denied the company will benefit from the proposed antitrust settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and nine states, according to a court filing Friday.

As part of the proposed settlement, Microsoft must license Windows to its 20 largest PC-maker customers under a uniform contract.

Nine states and the District of Columbia alleged last week that Microsoft wrote its proposed Windows licence in a way that would deny PC makers their patent rights.

Based on testimony from a deposition with Richard Fade, senior vice president of Microsoft's OEM (original equipment manufacturer) division, the states and some PC makers argued that Microsoft had added "onerous" terms to its Windows license, including one in which PC makers would be banned from asserting patent claims against Microsoft and Microsoft licensees.

The debate may now come up at a hearing on March 6 at which Microsoft, the DOJ and the nine settling states are scheduled to discuss public comments received as part of a 60-day comment period required by the Tunney Act.