Microsoft is accusing pirates across 14 states of either selling bootleg software or PCs with the illegal software already installed and nearly all the suits concerned Windows XP or Office.
The suits were filed in Arkansas, California (x6), Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas(x2) and Virginia and Washington(x2).
Eight of the accused resellers are repeat offenders, which Microsoft has dealt with before. Microsoft previously filed and settled lawsuits, which alleged the sale of infringing software, including versions of Microsoft Windows and Office.
Several of the cases were reported to Microsoft’s anti-piracy hotline, (800) RU-LEGIT and some were caught because of Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage or Office Genuine Advantage programs, which electronically verify the software online.
Microsoft’s attorney, Sharon Cates, released a statement on the issue saying the company was eager to protect its customers from shady dealers.
“These legal actions are about protecting Microsoft’s customers from falling victim to some dealers who operate a business model of peddling pirated and counterfeit software. Some companies previously involved in these lawsuits have discontinued their illegal business practices; others have not. The cases announced today are indicative of the need to ensure that dealers cease their illegal activity so that customers can be sure that they purchase genuine, fully licensed software.”