Innovation Asset Blog

Microsoft uncovers potentially significant IP infringement plot

Microsoft has filed suit against Comet - a leading British electronics distributor - for allegedly creating and selling nearly 100,000 counterfeit copies of Windows XP and Vista proprietary CDs.

"As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom," explained Microsoft associate general counsel David Finn. "Comet's actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products - and our customers deserve better, too."

In a statement emailed to the Wall Street Journal, Finn added that the software allegedly included on the CDs distributed by Comet was, in reality, a standard utility included in a computer's hard drive. What's more, customers could alternatively obtain the services in question at no charge under the terms of Microsoft's warranties.

According to the Guardian, Comet may have walked away with more than $2 million in fraudulent revenue as a result of the misappropriation of Microsoft's intellectual assets. The U.K. retailer has maintained that delivery of the services in question represented the best interests of the customers, but legal experts have asserted that the profits made from the practice may make such a defense untenable.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.