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Microsoft ordered to shut Windows sales

MICROSOFT Corp was ordered by a Beijing court to stop selling various computer operating systems including Windows XP in China, because it was involved in a license violation case over Chinese characters designed by a local firm, Shanghai Daily learned today.

The United States-based software vendor, whose major income comes from Windows and Office sales, denied the violation and said it would appeal the ruling, in a statement delivered to Shanghai Daily.

"We agree with the court that the key of the two cases is over the license scope of the relevant agreements. But we disagree with the court's ruling on the coverage of the agreements," Microsoft said in the statement.

The Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court said Microsoft violated the scope of the licensing agreements between it and Chinese firm Zhongyi Electronic, which designs Chinese character fonts. The various Chinese version of Windows use the fonts.

Microsoft have to stop selling the Chinese versions of its Windows 98, 2000, 2003 and Windows XP, according to the court's ruling, without mentioning when the ruling will take effect.

Zhongyi Electronics said Microsoft only had the right to use its intellectual property in Windows 95, but Microsoft used it in following versions of its Chinese Windows operating systems without permission.

The fonts designed by Zhongyi is a combination of Chinese calligraphy and modern computer science, the company said.

The company hasn't decided whether to sue Microsoft over the fonts used in its latest version, Windows 7, which was launched in China last month, said Lan Fei, Zhongyi's marketing official.

Microsoft said it respects intellectual property rights and it used third-party IP only when it has a legitimate right to do so.


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