Microsoft Files Lawsuit against Canadian Company Suspected of Counterfeiting

Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, Feb. 5, 1997 — Microsoft announced it has filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Dentec Corporation of Canada after a recent investigation revealed that Dentec might be distributing counterfeit Microsoft®
software,

Based on a six-month investigation, the Federal Court of Canada granted an Anton Piller Order authorizing Microsoft to search Dentec’s warehouse in Scarborough, Ontario. More than 400 suspect copies of Microsoft Windows® 95 and Microsoft Works 3.0 were seized. Dentec is also suspected of distributing counterfeit copies of Microsoft Encarta®
software. Microsoft’s lawsuit seeks damages in an amount to be determined.

The Dentec seizure is the direct result of Microsoft’s heightened enforcement program in Canada in recent months. Recently, three resellers in the Toronto area were identified as distributing various counterfeit software products. The resellers agreed to surrender over 250 units of counterfeit product, and in addition, to disclose the source of the infringing product to Microsoft’s investigators.

“We are stepping up our efforts to protect consumers from illegal and counterfeit software, and we are using information provided by each investigation to trace counterfeit product back to its sources,”
said Jim Lowe, Microsoft Corporate Attorney.
“Consumers deserve to know that their software is safe, legal, and complete. That’s why we will be pursuing every lead, and working closely with Canadian law enforcement to stop software piracy at every level.”

Microsoft believes that Dentec distributed the counterfeit product to retailers, who in turn sold it to consumers.

“Software counterfeiting hurts consumers and businesses at every level,”
said Normand Dupuis, Anti-Piracy Marketing Manager for Microsoft Canada.
“Consumers often have no idea they are buying counterfeit software, which may not include all the features of the original product and could even damage their data or their computer system. At the same time, software counterfeiting hurts legitimate software vendors, resulting in lost jobs and lost wages at software distributors who try to play by the rules.”

In addition to increasing enforcement efforts, Microsoft is working hard to help consumers understand the warning signs that may indicate illegal or counterfeit software:

  • No Certificate of Authenticity

  • Prices that are
    “too good to be true”

  • No end user license agreement

  • No product registration card

  • No backup disks, manuals, or other materials for software installed on a new computer system

  • Backup disks have hand-written labels, are not shrink-wrapped, or appear to be of inferior quality

  • Manuals are photocopied, are not shrink-wrapped, or appear to be of inferior quality

Microsoft works closely with Canadian law enforcement agencies and the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) to protect consumers from software counterfeiting and other forms of software piracy.

To report piracy of Microsoft products or inquire about the legitimacy of Microsoft products, consumers should call the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-RU-LEGITor e-mail piracy@microsoft.com . To receive industry-wide information about software piracy, consumers can call the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-263-9700.

For more information, press only:

Contact: Karen Porter, (206) 936-5992

Michael Eisen, (416) 981-9400

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Microsoft, Encarta and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries

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