Microsoft continued its litigious streak against alleged
software pirates, this time targeting individuals participating in
the company's discount software program.
The Redmond, Wash., software giant filed lawsuits against seven
companies taking part in its Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions
(MAPS), a program offering discounted software to qualified business
partners for internal and product evaluation use.
What they did, Microsoft alleged, is take the
for-internal-use-only software and resell it to consumers, some of
which made purchases on Internet-based auction sites. The alleged
companies, Microsoft added, repeatedly violated the terms of the
MAPS agreement, which only allows business partners to subscribe to
the program once a year, as well as requires them to keep the
"Our partners are negatively affected by the activities of those
who compete unfairly by either selling illegal software and
components or abusing agreements that other partners abide by," John
Ball, Microsoft U.S. System Builders Partner Group general manager,
said in a statement.
"These dishonest resellers sell products at minimal costs,
undercutting the business of legitimate resellers," he continued.
"Those who operate ethically within the law take a hard financial
hit. We like to see our honest partners succeed."
According to officials, this is the first time the company has
gone after companies abusing the MAPS program.
Lawsuits were also filed against three companies in Florida, Ohio
and Pennsylvania for allegedly selling counterfeit software.
Microsoft has been aggressively pursuing individuals and
companies that, it says, undercut its legitimate business partners
by selling software on the cheap at rates its partners can't match.
In April, the company filed suit against seven companies for
violating Microsoft copyright and trademark protections and one suit
for violating the Anti-counterfeiting Amendments Act of 2003.
It filed suits in June against four companies accused of selling
either illegal copies of Microsoft software or its Certificate of
Authenticity (COA) labels. And in September, it filed eight more
lawsuits against resellers allegedly selling counterfeit