Washington State Resellers to Pay More Than $300,000 to Microsoft For Distribution of Alleged Counterfeit Software

REDMOND, Wash., May 17, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has been awarded a total of $310,750 in settlements and judgments stemming from legal actions the company has taken against eight Seattle and Olympia area resellers for the alleged distribution of counterfeit software. Microsoft has taken these actions to protect unsuspecting consumers from the harmful ramifications of acquiring bogus software, which include an increased potential for obtaining viruses, missing key elements, and ineligibility for valuable technical support, warranty protection and upgrades.

In addition to its other community affairs activities, Microsoft will contribute the net proceeds of its anti-piracy recoveries — including those announced today in Washington — to nonprofit organizations worldwide focused on providing access to technology for disadvantaged communities. One of the company’s goals in donating these funds is to help curb the negative impact that software piracy and criminal counterfeiting have on local communities and economies.

In the past year, nearly 5 million units of counterfeit Microsoft® products have been seized worldwide with an estimated value of over $1.7 billion. Washington’s 1999 software piracy rate of 26.9 percent cost the state more than 2,892 jobs and more than $458 million in combined wages and tax revenues, according to a study by International Planning & Research Corp.

Microsoft corporate attorney Brien Jacobsen is available today to discuss the Washington settlements and judgments. Jacobsen is also available to discuss the warning signs of counterfeit software and the extent of software piracy in Washington state and throughout the country.

Who: Microsoft corporate attorney Brien Jacobsen

What: Washington software piracy case settlements and judgments totaling more than $310,750

When: Thursday, May 17

Where: Available for phone and in-person interviews; see contact information

Why: Microsoft, through education and legal actions, strives to protect consumers and the honest distribution channel from the negative effects of software piracy.

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