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Federal Court grants over $1 million in damages to Microsoft in piracy case

4 November, 2005 | Archived Post

SYDNEY, Australia, 4 November 2005

Press Release:
Sydney - 4 November 2005 - Sydney-based company, PC Club Australia Pty Ltd, its officeholders, Mymy Lee and Kane Fang and business manager David Lee, have been ordered by the Australian Federal Court to pay approximately $1.3m in damages and costs to Microsoft for copyright and trade mark infringement and breaches of the Trade Practices Act.

Senior Corporate Attorney for Microsoft Australia, Ms Vanessa Hutley, said the ruling against PC Club would send a clear signal to software pirates that Microsoft and its legitimate business partners would not tolerate such activities.

Ms Hutley said Microsoft Australia took legal action against PC Club after a raid on its Rhodes premises found that the company was selling a high volume of pirated and illegal software along with counterfeit Certificates of Authenticity (COA) labels.

PC Club argued that they believed it was legitimate for system builders to license copies of Microsoft software by simply distributing the copied software with a loose COA. The court roundly rejected this argument.

“Piracy is a major problem internationally, costing the global software industry billions of dollars a year and thousands of jobs,” Ms Hutley said.

“In Australia, there are many small and medium size businesses that legitimately make a living by selling genuine software. When software pirates try to get around the system, they not only disadvantage the consumer, but also genuine Australian small businesses.

“We are 100 per cent committed to doing what we can to protect our business partners and customers from the negative impacts of software piracy - we want to ensure they receive genuine quality software,” she said.

Ms Hutley said the case was part of an ongoing commitment by Microsoft Australia to combat software piracy and ensure Microsoft's business partners and customers are protected from the negative effects of dishonest resellers.

The case started in September 2004 and concluded with judgement on October 28, 2005.

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About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline
The Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline provides resellers and consumers an avenue to report suspected illegal use and distribution of Microsoft software and hardware. The hotline also provides advice to individuals who report infringing active with information on how to protect themselves against piracy. Phone 1800 639 963.

For further information:
Samantha Herron
Corporate Communications Manager
Microsoft Australia
Ph: 02 9870 2316 or 0412 589 951

Amanda Millar
Howorth Communications
02 8281 3830 or 0407 454 229


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