Microsoft has rejected the decision by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) that parts of its licence agreements with PC vendors violate the country's anti-monopoly code, surprising no-one.

The licence denies vendors the right to sue Microsoft if they believe the software giant has infringed their patents. While such a provision would give Microsoft protection against the ever increasing and dubious patent lawsuits being brought across the world, it also runs counter to section 19 of the Anti-monopoly Act, the JFTC decided. It also, of course, gives Microsoft carte blanche to actually infringe others' patents.

The JTFC asked Microsoft to remove the provisions. Microsoft has refused. "After careful examination of the contents of the Recommendation, Microsoft has decided that it is unable to accept the demands of the Recommendation, and has today informed the JFTC of this decision," it said in a statement on deadline day.

The rejection comes as no surprise. Microsoft said on 13 July that it disagreed with the JFTC's findings and planned to reject them. The JFTC also said the same day that it expected to receive a rejection from Microsoft around the deadline day.

By choosing to disagree with the JFTC, Microsoft is setting the wheels of a hearing process in motion. The entire process is likely to take between two and three years to complete, Takujiro Kono, deputy director of the JFTC's First Special Investigation Division, has said. Notice of a hearing will likely be issued around one month after the rejection is received. The hearing will likely take place a month after the notice is posted.

The decision to go for the long, drawn-out legal process rather than admit guilt is Microsoft's usual approach when being investigated for monopoly abuse. It did so in the US - where court cases are still going through years later - and it has done the same in Europe with the EU finding against it.