Bloomberg News

Microsoft Sues Gome, Buynow Over Pirated Software in China

January 12, 2012

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest software company, sued Shanghai Gome Electrical Appliances Co. in China, alleging the retailer had offered computers with pirated versions of its Windows and Office programs.

The lawsuit against Gome was filed at the Shanghai Huangpu District People’s Court, the Redmond, Washington-based company said in an e-mailed statement dated Jan. 6. Separately, Microsoft sued Clevo Co.’s Buynow retail unit at a court in Beijing, according to the statement.

Microsoft is boosting efforts to counter unauthorized use of its software in China, which surpassed the U.S. last year as the world’s biggest market for personal computers. About 78 percent of software in China was pirated in 2010, according to estimates by the Business Software Alliance.

Two computer vendors with stores in a Buynow mall in Beijing were offering products with pirated Microsoft software, the U.S. company said.

Philip Cheung, an investor relations manager at Hong Kong- listed Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd., couldn’t confirm if Shanghai Gome is a unit of his company, or is privately owned by founder Huang Guangyu. He declined to comment on the case.

Buynow has measures to curb intellectual property infringement by vendors at its malls, and “regrets” the legal action by Microsoft, Buynow said in an e-mailed statement.

--Editors: Dave McCombs, Douglas Wong

To contact the reporters on this story: Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.net; Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net; Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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