Microsoft yesterday filed eight lawsuits against various eBay sellers the software giant alleges are selling counterfeit versions of its software. These lawsuits were filed in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York and Washington.
In the lawsuits, Microsoft said, they are seeking to â€œprotect its legitimate business partners and customers from dishonest business practices and the risks associated with pirated and counterfeit softwareâ€. Seven of the defendants were reportedly identified through customer submissions to the company’s WindowsGenuine Advantage (WGA) program. WGA is an online validation tool for customers to determine whether their software is genuine and gives them the option of submitting counterfeit reports on their suppliers if they did not receive genuine software. Complaints were also made about some of the defendants to the company’s anti-piracy hotline.
â€œOnline auction sites are an excellent way for people from around the world to buy and sell goods,â€ said Matt Lundy, attorney at Microsoft, in a statement. â€œWe strongly believe in the convenience and global reach of the virtual marketplace. Unfortunately, a number of online sellers are undermining trust in the system by using the Internet to hawk illegal products to unsuspecting consumers. Microsoft is committed to protecting our customers and technology partners from unscrupulous sellers through customer education and enforcement in appropriate cases. By filing these lawsuits, we hope that auction purchasers will understand that software offers are not always what they appear to be.â€