Microsoft sues Chinese companies for piracy

Microsoft's lawsuit claims that three computer sellers sold preinstalled pirated copies of Windows and is demanding compensation for revenue losses.

Microsoft Friday said it had evidence that pirated versions of its Windows and Office products were installed in computers sold in Shanghai Gome Electronics' shop in Luwan, as well as in computers sold by Beijing Hongguang Century Trading and Beijing Zhuoyue Elements Trading--both of which are computer dealers operating in the retail space owned by Beijing Chaowai Yuexiu Computer Mart. Beijing Chaowai was named in the suit over poor supervision or negligence in management.

"Not only does selling computers preinstalled with unauthorized software severely infringe the intellectual property rights of the software oblige, causing unfair competition for dealers whose computers are preinstalled with authorized versions of the software, it has also supplied consumers with pirated software with great security concerns at the same time," said Yu Weidong, Microsoft China's IPR general manager. "This lawsuit is to once again remind computer dealers and retail spaces to respect intellectual property rights, uphold credibility, operate legally, compete fairly, and be responsible to the consumers."

Microsoft's legal team has been quite busy recently - suing Motorola Mobility in the UK over patents and taking on UK technology retailer Comet over piracy. However there are some questions about Microsoft's claims against Comet.

To date, the police department had supervised and handled three criminal cases involving the dissemination of pirated versions of Microsoft software by Shanghai Ruichuang Internet Technology, Hubei Ouyou Internet Technology and Guangdong Zhuzhumao. Hubei Ouyou in late-November was fined 800,000 yuan (US$126,845) and four employees sentenced to imprisonment, each receiving a fine of up to 720,000 yuan (US$114,161).

For more on this story, read Microsoft sues China's Gome, Buynow for copyright infringement on ZDNet Asia.


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