I’ve just seen this and it’s quite surprising:
“Microsoft Corp. today issued proceedings against Comet Group PLC for allegedly creating and selling more than 94,000 sets of counterfeit Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs. The alleged counterfeits were sold to customers who had purchased Windows-loaded PCs and laptops.”
That is a huge number of copies and also from a large, well established high street name.
Website “TheNextWeb” have a statement from Comet which reads:
“We note that proceedings have been issued by Microsoft Corporation against Comet relating to the creation of recovery discs by Comet on behalf of its customers.
“Comet has sought and received legal advice from leading counsel to support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property.
“Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers. It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer. Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously.”
Their argument that it was in the best interest of customers won’t hold much/any weight if it’s found to infringe upon Microsoft’s IP rights. Microsoft will of course be very certain that this is the case and won’t have launched this suit without proper forethought and fact checking.
I do find this quite encouraging in a way, as it shows that Microsoft are not just targeting the small, local retailers (who tend to be the ones involved in things like this) but also scrutinising the big, well established retailers too…which can only be better for the industry and customers in the long run.