Microsoft Puts Its Mad Face On, Sues U.K. Vendor for Selling Counterfeit CDs

Paul Lilly

Microsoft doesn't take kindly to software vendors selling counterfeit copies of Windows and other Microsoft software and will sail the seven seas to chase down pirates when need be. Most recently Microsoft went in pursuit of a Comet, the name of a U.K. retailer the software giant alleges sold more than 94,000 counterfeit copies of its Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems on pre-loaded PCs and laptops.

"As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom," said David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft. "Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too."

According to the lawsuit, Comet printed the counterfeit copies in a factory in Hampshire and then sold the media to customers from its retail locations across the U.K. Comet, which is part of Kesa Electricals, issued a statement of its own defending its position.

"We note that proceedings have been issued by Microsoft Corporation against Comet relating to the creation of recovery discs by Comet on behalf of its customers. Comet has sought and received legal advice from leading counsel to support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property," Comet said. "Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers. It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer. Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defense to the claim and will defend its position vigorously."

It's not entirely clear, but it appears Comet is fessing up to creating recovery Windows discs for its customers. If that's the case, the company probably doesn't have much of a legal leg to stand on.

Image Credit: Comet

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