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Microsoft wins piracy suit in Shanghai

MICROSOFT has won 2.17 million yuan (US$317,716) in compensation from Dazhong Insurance Co Ltd, which used its pirated software, Pudong New Area People's Court ruled today.

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

Dazhong Insurance was formed in Shanghai in 1995 by 26 big and medium company investors, including state-owned Shanghai International Group, Shanghai Chengtou Corp and Shanghai Dazhong Public Utilities (Group) Co Ltd.

Microsoft found in 2008 when monitoring a database of its users that Dazhong Insurance used a great number of its software packages, such as Windows 2000, Windows XP and Office software. But the insurance company bought only a few genuine products.

Microsoft then negotiated with Dazhong Insurance about the copyright problem and the two sides reached an agreement in February 2009. Dazhong Insurance agreed to buy 635 sets of software from Microsoft.

However, it never bought the software so Microsoft filed a lawsuit accusing Dazhong Insurance 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 in Dazhong Insurance and found they were all installed with pirated software. Company staff confirmed all 56 computers at headquarters used pirated software.

Though the defendant denied the infringement in the hearing, it failed to provide any evidences to prove legal sources for the software.

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


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