The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said today that certain provisions in licence agreements between Microsoft and Japanese PC vendors violate Japan's antimonopoly code.

Should licensees believe Microsoft is infringing on their patents, Microsoft's current provisions restrict possible legal action, according to a statement issued by the JFTC. The JFTC decided such a provision unjustly restricts the business activities of the licensees and thus violates section 19 of the Antimonopoly Act, it said.

Microsoft has until July 26 to accept the JFTC's demand that the provisions must be removed from current and future licenses or face a hearing over the licenses.

Microsoft could not immediately comment on the JFTC's finding.