Microsoft Aims to Protect Holiday Shoppers, Retailers From Technology Pirates

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 4, 2006 — With its potential payload of viruses, worms, spyware and other hazards, counterfeit software can quickly turn a high-tech holiday stocking stuffer into a smoldering lump of coal. Microsoft Corp. today filed copyright infringement lawsuits against alleged dealers of counterfeit versions of the company’s programs, sending a shot across the bow at pirates scheming to defraud consumers and the vast majority of legitimate businesses out of earned profits during the holiday season.

The lawsuits Microsoft announced today are against those companies that allegedly distributed counterfeit and pirated software and software components or participated in hard-disk loading (installing unlicensed software on computers they sold). The suits were filed in 25 cities across the U.S., from Riverbank, Calif., to Melbourne, Fla. The vast majority of software distributors are honest businesses that lose out to the dishonest dealers that attempt to defraud consumers.

“No one would want their newly purchased computer or software to be laden with problems caused by incomplete code, worms, viruses, spyware and other risks,” said Mary Jo Schrade, senior attorney at Microsoft. “Aside from a fight to protect our intellectual property, we are working to protect our partners and customers who buy computer software in good faith, expecting to get genuine Microsoft® Windows® and end up being exploited and defrauded by software pirates.”

To bypass installation and licensing protections in today’s software, counterfeiters must physically alter the software’s code. Essential elements of the program are often deleted, while unnecessary extras can be inserted. Deleted code will cause the software to behave erratically — displaying error messages or failing to work with other software and devices — and the extra code inserted by counterfeiters may include malware or spyware that can be used to infect a PC with viruses, change settings or even track how someone uses the computer, such as tracking Web sites visited or keystrokes entered. This malicious software can be used to steal personal information such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers.

“No consumer has the ability to examine the code that a counterfeiter has offered for sale, so there’s no way to tell how it’s been altered until it’s too late,” said Laura Didio, Yankee Group analyst. “With so much reliance on the Internet and PCs for shopping and banking and communications today, the stakes are just too high to justify saving a few dollars buying counterfeit software.”

Microsoft software is an integral part of the company’s Genuine Software Initiative. The initiative focuses the company’s multiple activities and investments directed at fighting software counterfeiting and other forms of software piracy into a single initiative with increased investments across three strategic areas: education, engineering and enforcement. Within each area, Microsoft is investing in activities that educate and help protect consumers and business partners from counterfeit software and other forms of software piracy.

In addition to helping protect consumers, Microsoft also enforces its copyrights on behalf of the legitimate resellers that make their living selling genuine Microsoft software and services. The company partners with businesses of all sizes that are vital contributors to the local communities in which they are located. Often these honest companies lose business to companies offering pirated software at cheaper prices.

“Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing, programmatic effort by Microsoft to level the playing field for our partners,” said John Ball, general manager for U.S. Local OEM Business at Microsoft, which works with businesses that manufacture computers. “Ultimately, our goal is straightforward: To make sure that fair business practices prevail and that consumers get what they pay for and what they deserve when they purchase Microsoft software.”

Microsoft gathered evidence for these cases through its test purchase program: The company purchases hardware and software from computer dealers across the country in the same way that consumers and businesses do. Microsoft then tests the software and software components to determine their authenticity. Microsoft notified defendants of the illegal activity and provided them with information for acquiring and distributing legal, genuine software.

Complaints were also received about some of the defendants through the company’s anti-piracy hot line, (800) RU-LEGIT (785-3448).

Legal Case Summaries

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Microsoft Corp. v. LA Star Computer (Walnut, Calif.), alleging distribution of counterfeit Windows 98 software components and infringing Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. CV 06-07674 AHM (PLAx)

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Microsoft Corp. v. Family Education Center (Downey, Calif.), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional and Office XP Professional software.
Case No. CV 06-07673 MRP (PLAx)

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Microsoft Corp. v. Contex Consulting, Inc. (Irwindale, Calif.), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. CV 06-7675 JFW (CTx)

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Microsoft Corp. v. Matthew Evans (Riverbank, Calif.), alleging distribution of counterfeit Windows XP Professional software components.
Case No. 1:06-CV-01745-AWI-SMJ

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Microsoft Corp. v. J&T Computers & Parts (Fresno, Calif.), alleging distribution of counterfeit and infringing Windows XP Professional software.
Case No. 1:06-CV-01747-OWW-LJO

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Microsoft Corp. v. Delta4 Services (Spring Valley, Calif.), alleging distribution of counterfeit Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 06 CV 2645 JM BLM

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Computer World Corporation (Melbourne, Fla.), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional and Office XP Professional with FrontPage® software.
Case No. 6:06-CA-1830-ORL-19-DAB

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division

Microsoft Corp. v. R&R’s Computers and Electronics (Rockledge, Fla.), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional, Office Professional 2003 Edition, Project Professional 2003, Visio® Professional 2003, OneNote® 2003 and FrontPage 2003 software.
Case No. 6:06-CA-1831-ORL-31-DAB

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Gordon PC Services (Marietta, Ga.), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 1:06-CV-2934

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Topa Computers, Inc. (Atlanta), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 1:06-CV-2936

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Tad’s Computer Services (Augusta, Ga.), alleging distribution of infringing Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. CV 106 188

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Computer Revolutions (Riverdale, Ga.), alleging distribution of infringing Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 1:06-CV-2935

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Benton Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Comptech Inc. (Marion, Ill.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 3:06-cv-00989-WDS

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East Saint Louis Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Computeck (Belleville, Ill.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Office XP Professional software.
Case No. 3:06-cv-00990-JPG

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Affordable Computer Solutions, LLC (Halethorpe, Md.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 8:06-cv-03246-DKC

In the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey



Microsoft Corporation v. MIT Consulting Group Inc. (Edison, N.J.), alleging trafficking in illicit Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity Labels for Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional.
Case No. pending

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. ComQuest Computers (Bronx, N.Y.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 06 cv 13711

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Atek 3000 Computer Inc. (Brooklyn, N.Y.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Windows XP Professional software.
Case No. 06 cv 6403

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Digitac Computer Factory Outlet, Inc. (Brooklyn, N.Y.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Edition and Office XP Professional software.
Case No. 06 cv 6404

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Aprosys Computers (New York), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Windows XP and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 06 cv 13712

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Tri-County Computer Center (Queensbury, N.Y.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Office XP Professional software.
Case No. 1:06-cv-01453-FJS-DRH

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Yukon Marketing Group Inc. (Palmyra, N.Y.), alleging distribution of Windows 2000 Professional Certificate of Authenticity Labels without the accompanying Windows 2000 Professional software programs
Case No. 06 cv 6602 DGL

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Bill’s Computer Sales (Utica, N.Y.), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional software.
Case No. 6:06-cv-01452 DNH-GJD

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

Microsoft Corp. v. Bit Bucket Computers (Horseheads, N.Y.), alleging distribution of infringing Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 06-CV-6603 CJS

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Computer’s Worth, Inc. (Rowlett, Texas), alleging distribution of counterfeit Windows 2000 Professional, SQL Server™ 2000 and Exchange Server 2003 software and/or components.
Case No. 3-06CV-2213-G

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Comtec Solutions (Houston), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software
Case No. 4:06-cv-03825

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Friendly Computer Services #118 (Houston), alleging distribution of infringing Office XP Professional and counterfeit and/or infringing Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software.
Case No. 4:06-cv-03827

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Panhandle Computer Services (Panhandle, Texas), alleging distribution of infringing Windows XP Professional software
Case No. 2-06CV-317-J

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division

Microsoft Corp. v. Online Discount Service (Falls Church, Va.), alleging distribution of counterfeit Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Office Professional 2003 Edition software components.
Case No. pending

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Microsoft Corp. v. Atomicpark.com and/or Bigclearance.com (Milwaukee) alleging distribution of counterfeit and infringing Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Office 2000 Professional and/or SQL Server 2000 software.
Case No. 06-C-1247

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