Microsoft has taken legal action against 63 online auctioneers spanning 12 countries, for alleged trademark infringement and the international orchestration of marketing schemes involving the sale of counterfeit software.
In addition to seven civil cases being filed in the UK, other countries included the United States, Germany, France, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.
Microsoft has accused the seven UK companies of selling high quality counterfeit Windows software, as well as Office 2007 and 2003.
The vendor believes the sellers may have hawked over 900 individual counterfeits amounting to an estimated value of over £69,000. These sellers were discovered by Microsoft when undertaking test purchases, as well as the vendor reacting to complaints raised by concerned customers.
David Finn, associate general counsel for worldwide anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting at Microsoft, said: “These dealers are peddling bogus products that can put customers and their personal information at serious risk.
“By taking legal action against these alleged counterfeiters, Microsoft is helping ensure that consumers around the world are protected from those who sell counterfeit software over the internet."
Among the numerous marketing schemes that Microsoft uncovered, was the alleged sale of so-called ‘Blue Edition’ counterfeit Windows XP software and illicit software components on online auction sites.
The ‘Blue Edition’ is a fictional scheme which fools unsuspecting customers into buying software that has been illegally burnt onto a CD.
Finn added: “We are also continuing to arm our customers with the information they need to keep from falling victim to counterfeit software.
“Consumers should be aware that the so-called ‘Blue Edition’ software is nothing more than low-quality counterfeit software burned onto a CD.”
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