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Microsoft sues four companies for counterfeit sales

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said it has filed four lawsuits against companies in California and Virginia for allegedly distributing counterfeit or illicit software.

The software maker filed the suits in U.S. District Court against CEO Microsystems Inc., Irvine, Calif.; Wiston Group Inc., Walnut, Calif.; #9 Software Inc., Hampton, Va.; and East Outlet LLC and Super Supplier LLC, both in Newport News, Va. The latter two companies were named in the same suit.

The suits claim the companies sold counterfeit Microsoft products and/or company products without authorization.

"In filing these lawsuits, we hope to curb the amount of pirated and counterfeit software on the market and keep illegal software from finding its way into the hands of unknowing consumers and businesses," Mary Jo Schrade, senior attorney at Microsoft, said in a statement.

The suits stem from complaints Microsoft received from customers through its hotline, 1-800-RU-LEGIT, the company said. Complaints were received from dozens of states and Canada.

Microsoft claims the defendants continued to violate anti-counterfeiting laws, despite receiving cease-and-desist letters from the company.

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