Microsoft to sue Comet over counterfeiting

Microsoft is suing beleaguered electricals retailer Comet for allegedly counterfeiting CDs of its Windows software.

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Microsoft claims that Comet produced thousands of counterfeit recovery discs of its Vista and Windows XP operating systems after the official disks were no longer sold as standard with new laptops and PCs in 2008.

The software giant says it was “unfair to customers” but Comet refutes the claim insisting that its action did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property and acted in the best interest of customers.

In a statement Comet says: “Comet 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.”

The lawsuit is the latest blow to Comet’s current owner Kesa, which agreed to sell the loss-making chain to private equity firm OpCapita for a token £2 in November.

Comet is expected to post further weak sales performance over the Christmas period when it reports Quarter 3 earnings on 19 January.

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