Microsoft has sued resellers in Boston, northern California, and New York for allegedly installing and selling unlicensed software.
The charges stem from the company's nationwide campaign to fight software piracy. Three computer resellers in greater Boston were sued, along with six California resellers and three in New York. In California, five of the six companies had settled with Microsoft on similar charges before.
"Resellers are realising that distributing illegal software is not a fight they're going to win in a court of law," said Jim Lowe, a corporate attorney at Microsoft.
The cases involved alleged illegal copies of Windows 95, Office 97, Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS. The software giant stepped up its efforts to fight pirated software last year, with the creation of a hotline and e-mail address.