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April 23, 2010

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Microsoft wins infringement lawsuit

MICROSOFT deserves 2.17 million yuan (US$317,837) in compensation from Dazhong Insurance Co Ltd, for using pirated software, Pudong New Area People's Court ruled yesterday.

It was Microsoft's first lawsuit targeting a big company in the Chinese mainland to protect its intellectual property.

Microsoft found in 2008 that Shanghai-based Dazhong Insurance was using a number of its software products, such as Windows 2000, Windows XP and Microsoft Office, but only a few of them were genuine.

After negotiations, the two sides reached an agreement in February 2009, with Dazhong Insurance agreeing to buy 635 sets of software from Microsoft. But Dazhong Insurance never followed through.

Microsoft filed suit last year. It accused the insurance company of using at least 450 sets of pirated software and asked for 2.25 million yuan in compensation.

Judges spot-checked 10 computers and 11 servers at Dazhong Insurance and found they all had pirated software installed. The company staff confirmed that all 56 computers in the headquarters used pirated software.

The defendant denied the infringement in the hearing, but it failed to provide any evidence to prove the software was legitimate.

Microsoft said it hoped the case would encourage more big companies to use genuine software products.

Also yesterday, local courts announced verdicts in 19 other intellectual property-related lawsuits to commemorate the coming World Intellectual Property Day April 26.

Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled that Abbott Laboratories, a noted producer of baby's formula milk powder, be compensated 500,000 yuan from a Guangdong Province company that used Abbot as company name and trademark.

In a similar case, Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ordered three private companies, all owned by a couple, to pay 500,000 yuan to Japanese cosmetic giant Shiseido for using logos similar to Shiseido.


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