San Francisco: Microsoft has fired a legal salvo against traffickers of its software discounted for students overseas.
The Redmond, Washington, software colossus said it filed nine lawsuits in US federal courts and sent more than 50 “cease and desist” letters to companies in Jordan and other countries.
Microsoft has accused companies of making millions of dollars in illegal profits by trafficking in specially priced academic software intended for academic programmes.
The lawsuits charged the companies with posing as academic software resellers to get hundreds of thousands of copies of Microsoft Windows and Office software discounted for students.
The companies reaped millions of dollars in profits by selling the software to US Internet retailers instead of schools or students, court documents allege.
“Jordan has invested heavily in transforming itself into a full-fledged knowledge economy,” Jordan’s minister of information and communications technology Basem Rousan said in a written statement.
“Companies that break Jordan’s intellectual property laws will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Investigations are being pursued in other countries where a similar scheme has been used.”
Internet retailer EDirectSoftware.com, accused of being one of the largest offenders, has reportedly agreed to settle Microsoft’s lawsuit out of court for more than a million dollars in cash and property.