In a press release issued this morning, Microsoft has announced that it has begun legal proceedings against the U.K. electrical retailer Comet Group PLC for “creating and selling more than 94,000 sets of counterfeit Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs.” The discs were allegedly sold to customers who had purchased a laptop or PC with the Windows operating system installed.
David Finn, associate general counsel with Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft, said that Comet had treated its customer unfairly and that it expected better from retailers selling Microsoft products:
“As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom.
“Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.”
Comet allegedly produced the counterfeit discs in a factory in Hampshire and then sold them to unsuspecting customers in its retail stores throughout the U.K.
UPDATE: Comet has responded to this morning’s press release from Microsoft with an official statement in which it claims that it did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property:
“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.”
Do you think you’ve been sold a counterfeit Windows recovery disc by Comet?