Microsoft Fights Software Piracy, Wins Suit with Citic Unit

The battle against software piracy is huge. Microsoft has recently won a small but important battle against piracy of its Windows Operating system. Microsoft settled a copyright infringement case against a Chinese company named Citic Kington Securities Co. The settlement between Microsoft and Citic Securities Co. reached last month and the Chinese company has agreed to make a one-off purchase of Microsoft Windows operating systems that make a total worth of 3.23 Yuan or $476,714 in order to compensate Microsoft for the losses incurred due to the use of pirated software the Chinese company. Microsoft prosecuted Citic-Kington Securities in the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in October 2009. The two companies reached an out of court settlement.

Citic Kington Securities is a reputed company of China that is funded by CITIC Securities Co. Ltd. based in Hangzhou. The company has a registered capital of about 885 million Yuan. Microsoft sued the Citic Securities Co. for using about nine variants of 958 copies of Microsoft software that were not licensed by Microsoft.

Software Piracy is an important issue with most of the software giants across the globe. Software piracy cost software companies a loss of millions of dollars every year. An estimate shows that the software companies lost about 51.4 billion U.S. Dollars last year due to software piracy. Developing countries are a major target for software piracy. It should be known that the software piracy rate in China is on a decline in last few years. The software piracy rate has declined by 13 % in the past 6 years in China. The software companies are making utmost effort to get out of the piracy slump and their efforts have shown up. U.S has the lowest software piracy rate across the globe followed by Japan and Luxembourg. Still, the software piracy is on an increase in countries like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Georgia. Efforts are being made collaborated with government in the Asia-Pacific region to educate people against piracy. Anti-piracy education and strict enforcement of law is the only solution to fight against piracy.

Battle of software giants such as Microsoft in cases like CITIC-Kington Securities Co. might not be of monetary importance for the company but make a big difference to lower the software piracy rate. Yu Weidong, Microsoft China’s senior director on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues confirmed that the settlement with CITIC-Kington Securities Co. is the company’s tactic to settle IPR issues. The company looks forward for a long-term relationship with the China based CITIC-Kington Securities Co.

Microsoft and CITIC-Kington Securities Co. have agreed to cooperate on software asset management and information technology management. Although there is no official comment available from the CITIC-Kington Securities Co., the compensation made by the company has given a message to many companies using the pirated copies of software to get genuine immediately. It should be known that Microsoft won another legal battle against piracy in April. The lawsuit was filed against a Shanghai-based Dazhong Insurance Co. for using the pirated copies of its software.

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