Microsoft has settled out of court with Sydney-based distributor and integrator Natcomp Technology and its director Fabio Grassia, accused of selling counterfeit software on at least two occasions.
Microsoft alleges that Natcomp supplied 1,000 counterfeit copies of Windows 98 software on its PCs in 1998. Following some test purchases and other investigations, the vendor instigated legal proceedings against the reseller in March 2001.
In addition to this, earlier this year the vendor was made aware that a further 300 copies of Windows Millennium Edition (ME) were sold with Natcomp's "iseries" personal computers. These 300 copies were allegedly sold as burnable CDs marked "backup CD", together with "Certificate of Authenticity" stickers that Microsoft claims went missing in Canada some time ago.
As part of the settlement, Natcomp Technology has agreed to pay Microsoft $200,000 as well as provide authentic Microsoft products to any retailers or consumers who purchased the counterfeit product from the company.
Grassia claims he purchased the software legitimately through a Sydney-based reseller. Both Microsoft and Natcomp are now taking legal action against this supplier, L&P Net Solutions. For more details, see next week's edition of ARN.