SHANGHAI Jan 10 Microsoft Corp
has sued Gome Electrical Appliances Holding, one of
China's largest homegrown electronics distributors, and a
Beijing electronics mall, for allegedly infringing on the
copyright of its software.
Microsoft said in a statement it has filed lawsuits in the
Shanghai Huangpu District People's Court and the Beijing Second
Intermediate People's Court against Gome and Beijing Chaoyang
Buynow mall to get both parties to stop infringing on its
copyrights and for a compensation of losses.
The company said it has evidence that a Gome store in
Shanghai installed pirated versions of its Windows and Microsoft
Office software on computers for sale.
"We hope that the lawsuit will serve as a warning call for
computer distributors and sellers to respect intellectual
property rights," said Yu Weidong, general manager for IPR of
Microsoft China, in a statement dated Jan. 6.
Gome Vice President Zou Xiaochun said he was not aware of
Microsoft also said it has evidence that holds Beijing
Chaoyang Buynow accountable for "lack of supervision or proper
management" that allowed for the installation of illegal copies
of Microsoft Windows and Office products on computers sold by
two PC vendors at the PC market.
The mall was not immediately reachable for comment.
Microsoft has struggled to gain a foothold in China's
booming IT industry due to the endemic problem of software
piracy in the country. Last month, China said its government
offices at every level will use legitimate as opposed to pirated
computer software by the end of 2012.
The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a U.S.
coalition of film, software, music and publishing groups,
estimates that U.S. companies lost more than $15 billion in 2009
due to international copyright theft.
About $14 billion of the total was due to software piracy,
with an estimated $3.5 billion in losses in China and $1.4
billion in Russia.