Microsoft Files Counterfeiting Lawsuits

Microsoft said yesterday that it is suing eight system builders and resellers, including two Southern California companies, for allegedly distributing counterfeit software and software components. The company said that it had sued Abacus Computer of Anaheim and Technology One of Los Angeles, among others, for distributing counterfeit software or unlicensed software. Microsoft said that the companies in question continued to sell the software even after being contacted by Microsoft. The software giant said that the lawsuits are a result of the company's test purchase program, where Microsoft acquires software and software components from dealers and ensures that the software distributed is legitimate. The lawsuits leverage the Anti-Counterfeiting Amendments Act of 2003, which went into effect December 23 of last year. The new law provides for criminal and civil penalties for distribution of Certificate of Authenticity labels separate from the software they are intended to certify.