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|March 3, 1999||
Microsoft Corporation has filed civil proceedings against Software India Private Limited, Bombay, and its director Vasant Agarwal on allegations that the they are selling counterfeit versions of the Windows 95 OEM software and mice.
This is the first time that Microsoft has taken such an action against a company alleged to be selling counterfeit versions of its Windows 95 OEM software.
Microsoft's counsel, accompanied by a court appointed commissioner, executed the orders against the company and its director.
The orders allow the premises of Software India to be searched where there is reason to believe that Microsoft's rights are being infringed. The order can even authorise the commissioner to seek police assistance, break locks and seize goods.
In this case, the orders allowed 900 CDs, 150 mice and a copy of the Microsoft Windows 95 OEM pack, identified as counterfeit product by an independent technical expert, to be taken into custody.
The CD titles include Visual C++, Windows 3.2 Software Development Kit, Windows 98, Office 97 and MS Publisher.
The matter will come up in the Delhi high court August 17, 1999.
'Selling or using counterfeit software affects businesses, large and small, stifling innovation and impacting the country's economy overall. Pirated software often contains viruses that could potentially damage the hard disk and its contents. Additionally, using it could lead to a prison sentence or a fine. Above all, piracy represents a loss of investment in the future, ' a Microsoft statement claims.
Revenue losses for business and entertainment software due to worldwide piracy were estimated at $11.4 billion in 1997. In India it is estimated that the piracy rate is 69 per cent, accounting for the loss of over $185,000 million and decreased employment.
Microsoft's statement emphasised that there needs to be greater understanding that genuine software has valuable rights of its own that could be protected.
'When counterfeiters and those infringing on copyright continue to undermine the intellectual property rights of software developers the question is how do developers then recoup the investment made into research and development. India has some of the toughest laws to deal with this problem but there is a need for better awareness and better enforcement,' the statement says.
Microsoft has added anti-piracy features to its products to make it easier for PC vendors, consumers and law enforcement officials to identify illegal software.
Three new security features on Windows 98 are:
Genuine Microsoft OEM mice have a 'certificate of authenticity' label attached to the grey cord/tail. The product is accompanied with an original user's instructions manual and a unique serial number is printed on the back.
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