Microsoft concludes piracy cases

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Microsoft Australia was last week awarded $1 million in damages against distributor TYN Electronics, formerly APD International and its director Ngat Doan, concluding a long running software counterfeiting case.

Microsoft Australia was last week awarded $1 million in damages against distributor TYN Electronics, formerly APD International and its director Ngat Doan, concluding a long running software counterfeiting case.

The court found that APD had procured the manufacture of several thousand copies of Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Works, and Microsoft Money on compact disc and supplied those discs to APD customers in late 2002 with new computer systems.

The relief granted in favour of Microsoft included extensive injunctions, orders for delivery of counterfeit products, compensatory damages, flagrancy damages and costs, a Microsoft statement said.

The latest action was the second set of proceedings brought by Microsoft against Doan. In 1997, Microsoft commenced proceedings against Doan and his former company, Beam 2000 Systems in relation to the supply of counterfeit Microsoft software.

The court made orders by consent in those proceedings restraining future infringements of copyright by Doan and Beam 2000. The present proceedings were filed in September 2002 after Microsoft obtained evidence that APD and Doan had supplied 300 counterfeit copies of Millennium Edition to a Sydney-based computer dealer, the company said.

In a separate case, the software giant was also awarded in excess of $500,000 in damages against Queensland reseller, Harmony Telecommunications & Business Equipment and its proprietor Earl Davis.

In this case, the court found that Davis, a sole trader, under the Harmony name and then through his company Ezy Loans, engaged in the regular practice of hard loading secondhand computers with Microsoft Windows, and Microsoft Office during the period of September 1999 to June 2002.

Vanessa Hutley, senior corporate attorney at Microsoft, said in a statement: “We are determined to take action against persistent offenders. The production and distribution of counterfeit software harms the industry and costs hundreds of potential job opportunities in legitimate distribution channels."

“Dishonest resellers have an unfair competitive advantage over resellers who obey the law. They also cost thousands of potential job opportunities a year in the legitimate distribution channels."

“Software piracy undermines the software industry's ability to contribute to the health and prosperity of the global economy. We need to protect intellectual property for long term growth and actions taken now will hopefully deter others from producing and selling counterfeit software,” she said.

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