As part of Microsoft Corp.’s commitment to honest and legitimate resellers in the channel, the company filed nine lawsuits in nine cities across the country against resellers who have allegedly distributed infringing Microsoft software. Each of the companies named in the lawsuits filed on August 10, 2004 were distributing infringing software on computers that they sold to investigators, according to the complaints. Defendants in each case were contacted by Microsoft requesting that they halt their activities.

Lawsuits were filed against companies located in Uniontown and Allentown, Pennsylvania; Lodi, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Wethersfield, Connecticut; Dandridge, Tennessee; Grand Rapids, Michigan and Marina del Rey, California. The lawsuits allege distribution of counterfeit and/or infringing copies of Microsoft software.

“Microsoft is listening to our partners and resellers and we are taking these steps to protect them against dishonest dealers and resellers who are peddling unlicensed and counterfeit software,” said Darren Huston, Corporate Vice President, U.S. Small, Mid-Market, Solutions & Partners, Microsoft. “Because they can sell illegitimate software for a cheaper price, often significantly cheaper, these sellers have an economic advantage over those who play by the rules. Microsoft is committed to leveling the playing field for honest resellers and assuring consumers that when they purchase Microsoft software from any dealer, it’s genuine.”

“Dishonest resellers who continue to sell counterfeit or unlicensed software undercut ethical businesses and create a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. We are thankful that Microsoft is taking these actions to level the playing field for honest businesses,” said Andrew Cohen, president of Vertical IT Solutions in Tampa, FL. “Consumers should also understand that not using genuine licensed software results in lack of technical support and future product upgrades. Eventually, the consumers suffer with higher future costs and limited support options resulting in downtime and loss of productivity.”

Software dealers who mislead consumers into buying illegal software prevent customers from receiving the benefits that the use of genuine software provides, including receiving software that is complete and fit for the use intended, and is eligible to receive technical support and valuable upgrades.

Microsoft is committed to protecting the genuine distribution community and ensuring that consumers can obtain Microsoft software from all dealers in good faith. Undercutting legitimate businesses and the software developers who create these products hurts local, regional, national and global economies.

From the MS OEM newsletter.

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