Microsoft sues five California resellers

Microsoft sues five California resellers

Microsoft has filed lawsuits against five northern California companies, alleging copyright and trademark infringement and distribution of counterfeit products.

The lawsuits were filed February 27 in a US District Court in San Francisco and were outlined in a statement yesterday by Microsoft. The company had issued a statement earlier last month warning distributors that a hard line was planned against software piracy.

Microsoft is seeking up to $US1 million in damages for each counterfeited trademark.

The software maker alleges that four northern California companies sold counterfeit original equipment manufacturer (OEM) versions of Windows 95. The companies are Advanced Digital Solutions International, CHL Microsystems, Gogate International and Silicon Computers. Microsoft investigators made test purchases from the companies, according to the company statement.

CHL Microsystems, Gogate and Silicon Computers also are accused of distributing counterfeit versions of Office 97 Professional Edition obtained through the Microsoft Easy Fulfilment program. Gogate allegedly distributed counterfeit retail versions of Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Microsoft said.

Gogate has been named as a defendant in a separate lawsuit in southern California, alleging distribution of counterfeit Microsoft products in that part of the state.

The fifth company Microsoft filed suit against is Meladi Electronics, which allegedly distributed counterfeit retail versions of Windows NT Server 4.0 and the academic edition of Office 97 Professional Edition, the statement said.

The companies involved in the lawsuits could not be reached for comment.

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