Buyer Be Smart on Online Auctions Fact Sheet

Dec. 4, 2008

On Dec. 4, Microsoft Corp. announced 63 legal actions in 12 countries against online auctioneers who allegedly sold counterfeit software to unsuspecting customers. Below is a summary of the legal actions.


Microsoft supported the Argentine Federal Police in a criminal case against a system builder in Buenos Aires who was allegedly advertising computers with hard-disk-loaded Windows XP and the 2007 Microsoft Office system on the online auction site More than 600 computers are estimated to have been sold by the dealer, at a total estimated value of $200,000 (U.S.).


Microsoft worked with local law enforcement officials who conducted a raid in the state of Rio de Janeiro against a vendor allegedly selling stand-alone Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) on the site Microsoft also cooperated with law enforcement officials who conducted a raid on a vendor in the state of São Paulo allegedly offering downloads of Microsoft software. Both of these cases resulted from test purchases and investigations.


Microsoft provided assistance to Canadian law enforcement authorities who conducted a raid in Nova Scotia against a defendant originally identified through Microsoft’s test purchase program. The seller is charged with selling thousands of dollars of counterfeit software obtained from a foreign supplier to customers in North America. The counterfeit products involved include Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office Professional 2003 and Office Professional 2007.


Microsoft is working with local law enforcement in Colombia to support six criminal legal actions against dealers suspected of selling counterfeit and pirated software, including Windows XP Professional, in addition to stolen and counterfeit licenses, via online auction sites. Two of these cases involve dealers in the cities of Bogotá and Medellin who also are suspected of involvement in tax evasion and fraud.

Dominican Republic

Microsoft worked with local law enforcement authorities who conducted raids against two vendors in the Dominican Republic allegedly offering Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft SQL Server on the site


In France, Microsoft filed civil lawsuits against 12 resellers who allegedly used auction sites to sell hundreds of COAs that could be used to unlock unlicensed copies of Windows XP and Windows Vista. These cases came to Microsoft’s attention through customer complaints and test purchases.


Microsoft and the Association of Copyright for Computer Software provided support to local law enforcement in the Aomori prefecture. These officials are filing a criminal action against a reseller alleged to have knowingly distributed low-quality counterfeit versions of Windows Vista via an online auction site. Patrols of the auction site led authorities to the dealer, who was using legitimate sales on the site to drive potential customers to his own Web site, where he sold illegal fakes.


In Germany, Microsoft filed eight civil lawsuits and referred four cases to local law enforcement against 10 alleged resellers accused of selling counterfeit Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 or selling genuine software with counterfeit or manipulated COAs. In two cases, both civil and criminal actions were taken simultaneously. These cases came to Microsoft’s attention through customer complaints, test purchases and products submitted by the police.


Microsoft is working with local enforcement authorities to carry out two legal actions against online auctioneers in Mexico City suspected of selling high-quality counterfeit software via online auction sites. In addition to demonstrating the alleged violation of copyrights and trademarks, the investigation of these cases is intended to provide evidence of counterfeiting to customers.

New Zealand

Microsoft filed a civil case in both New Zealand and the U.S. against three sellers who allegedly sold high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software on a number of different online auction sites to customers in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and 15 U.S. states.

United Kingdom

In the U.K., Microsoft initiated seven civil cases for alleged trademark infringement against Internet auctioneers, accusing them of selling high-quality counterfeit Windows software, as well as Microsoft Office 2007 and 2003. Microsoft believes that these sellers may have sold more than 900 individual counterfeits for an estimated value of more than $100,000. The majority of these sellers were found from undertaking test purchases, although in these cases Microsoft also is reacting to complaints raised by concerned customers.

United States

Microsoft is filing civil suits against 16 resellers in 12 states who are alleged to have sold mostly high-quality counterfeit software via online auction sites. Suits are being filed against defendants based in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, New York and South Carolina. These counterfeiters are alleged to have sold fake versions of numerous Microsoft products, including Windows XP and Microsoft Office. The resellers named in the lawsuits used various online auction sites to sell the counterfeit software and components.

U.S. Case Summaries:

All cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Western Washington

Microsoft Corp. v. Carlos E. Martinez, d/b/a “Music Shoppe” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1749 JLR

Microsoft Corp. v. Carlos P. Sandoval, d/b/a “Minervas” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1739 JPD

Microsoft Corp. v. Dale Spencer, d/b/a “Redball Software” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1744 MAT

Microsoft Corp. v. Daniel Hines, d/b/a “Elite Products,” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1750 JLR

Microsoft Corp. v. Yuriy Dmitrivyevich Tischenko a/k/a Dmitriy Tischenko,

d/b/a “Quality Production” and John Does 1-10

Case No. CV8 1746 RAJ

Microsoft Corp. v. Eugene Webber a/k/a Eugene Page, and Phillip Webber, d/b/a “Laptops, Inc.,” “Laptops & More,” and “Laptops + Inc.” and John Does 1-10

Case No. CV8 1754 MJP

Microsoft Corp. v. Fernando Lopez, d/b/a “Computer Service” and “Computer Service Engineers” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1743 BAT

Microsoft Corp. v. Gabriel Lagoa, Computer Doctor of Miami, Inc. and John Does 1-10

Case No. CV8 1748 JPD

Microsoft Corp. v. Gary Nosek, d/b/a “garynosek” and John Does 1-10

Case No. CV8 1752 JLR

Microsoft Corp. v. George Asmar, d/b/a “Five Star PC” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1751 MAT

Microsoft Corp. v. Jaime L. Snyder, d/b/a “cheapestsoftwareanywhere”

and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1741 RSM

Microsoft Corp. v. Josh Clark, d/b/a “CMTC” and “kingsoftware” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1745 RAJ

Microsoft Corp. v. Michael Larbi, d/b/a “The Global Selection” and “michaell5623” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1740 JLR

Microsoft Corp. v. Quincy Booth, d/b/a “rocksolidwholesale” and John Does 1-10

Case No. C08-1747 JLR

Microsoft Corp. v. Schaun Johnson, d/b/a “Johnson’s Processing” and “skj8100” and John Does 1-10

Case No. CV8 1742 P

Microsoft Corp. v. William Smyth, Action Analysts, Inc., and John Does 1-10

Case No. CV8 1753 RAJ

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