Laptop Factory Outlet agrees to pay $50,000 compensation for infringing Microsoft copyright

Microsoft is urging anyone who has purchased a Windows PC from the Laptop Factory Outlet to contact the retailer to ensure they have a genuine copy installed

 SYDNEY, Australia – 20th October 2011: Microsoft Australia has today announced that The Laptop Factory Outlet Pty Ltd, of South Granville, NSW, has agreed to pay $50,000 in damages for
infringing Microsoft’s copyright by reusing Microsoft Windows Certificates of Authenticity (COA) from second-hand PCs on new PCs loaded with pirated software.

 The Laptop Factory Outlet (LFO) is a large retailer of PCs and laptops, which trades from premises at South Granville and its website, www.lfo.com.au. Anyone who has purchased a Windows PC
from LFO should contact the retailer.  As part of the settlement, LFO has agreed to replace the counterfeit software with genuine product and affix the associated correct COA to the PC for its
customers at no extra charge. Following Microsoft’s investigations, the company’s directors admitted to purchasing second-hand PCs, pulling the COAs off them and reusing them on new PCs loaded
with counterfeit software, which were then sold on to their customers.

Clayton Noble, Attorney, Microsoft Pty Limited encourages consumers to look out for the tell-tale signs of counterfeit software: “If a Certificate of Authenticity affixed to your new PC appears used or tampered with, or names a PC manufacturer that doesn’t match the PC you bought, this is an indication of counterfeit software pre-loaded onto your PC.  Other indicators of counterfeit software are discussed on Microsoft’s website, which helps empower consumers to make informed software purchases and avoid counterfeit-related risks. If your software is not genuine, you cannot be sure of what you’re getting.” 

 Noble adds, “Tampering with Certificates of Authenticity can [BT(1] trick consumers into buying software that is not genuine and properly licensed.  This can expose them to the potential dangers of counterfeit software, including the risk that it comprises malware which causes computer viruses, or key-logging software that can be used to steal identities.”

 Every year, millions of consumers and businesses are hurt by counterfeit software which they have acquired inadvertently.

 Microsoft encourages businesses and consumers looking to purchase software to consider several tips to help ensure their product is legitimate:

  • Always purchase from a reputable reseller.  Do your homework and think about whether the reseller will give you after sales service if you have a problem.
  • If purchasing from an online auction trading site, beware.  Check the online seller’s price against the estimated retail value of the software. If the price for software seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be especially cautious when dealing with software sellers in other countries.  The physical distance, differences in legal systems and other factors can complicate matters if the transaction goes awry.
  • Avoid sellers offering “back-up” copies or compilations of software titles from different publishers on a single disk, these are clear indications that the software is illegal.
  • Be sure that your security software is up-to-date, as counterfeit software may contain malware.
  • When purchasing a disk containing Microsoft software go to http://www.microsoft.com/genuineto ensure it is genuine be sure the following materials are included:
    • A Certificate of Authenticity
    • A hologram DVD
    • High-quality product packing and documentation

 For further information on how to tell if the software you are buying is genuine visit the Microsoft website at http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/howtotell/.