Less than a month after Microsoft announced it would be cracking down on dealers selling pirated software the vendor has heralded a win in the Australian Federal Court against Melbourne-based company Diginet Technology Information Centre.
The Court found in favour of Microsoft, over Diginet for the infringement of Microsoft's copyright and trademarks and breach of the Victorian Fair Trading Act. The news follows a $5,000 reward program announced by Microsoft last month designed to put pressure on resellers loading counterfeit and pirated software onto PCs that are then sold to unwary consumers.
After receiving a tip off via its anti-piracy phone line, Microsoft investigated claims Guan Min Zhu, trading under Diginet Technology Information Centre, was selling counterfeit copies of Windows 98 before commencing legal action in October last year. According to Microsoft attempts to resolve the matter through non-judicial avenues proved unsuccessful.
Zhu has been forced to pay court expenses to the tune of $25,000 and has been ordered to permanently refrain from reproducing, importing, selling or offering for sale unlicensed Microsoft software.
Vanessa Hutley, corporate attorney for Microsoft, claims the court's decision is a vindication of the vendor's attempt to clean up its channel.
"It sends a clear message to illegal software dealers that they face stiff penalties for violating intellectual property rights," she said in a statement released by the company. "Dealers who trade in illegal software not only risk their integrity but also risk legal action resulting in large penalties such as this."
Diginet Technology Information Centre could not be reached at the time of press, and is in no way connected to Melbourne-base reseller Diginet Technology Corporation according to a spokesperson for the company.
The Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline: 1800 639 963