Microsoft Sues Electronics Recycler

Software maker says Arizona company was selling unauthorized copies of its software.

February 5, 2013
SDB Staff
Electronics Legislation & Regulations

Microsoft Corp. has filed a suit against electronics recycling company E-Waste Harvesters Inc., Phoenix, and its owner Earl Campbell, alleging the company engaged in copyright and trademark infringement, false designation of origin, false description and representation and unfair competition.

In its suit, filed Jan. 25, 2013, Microsoft claims E-Waste Harvesters advertised, marketed, installed, offered and distributed unauthorized copies of Microsoft software after the company warned it of the consequences of infringing on Microsoft’s copyrights, trademarks and/or service mark.

According to the complaint, Microsoft says the Arizona recycler advertised that computers it sells come preinstalled with Microsoft software. Instead, Microsoft contends, the computers sold by defendants actually have infringing copies of Microsoft software installed.

In its lawsuit, Microsoft says it warned E-Waste Harvesters and Campbell by correspondence in June 2012 “that it is a violation of copyright and trademark laws to make and distribute unauthorized copies of Microsoft software programs."

Despite the warning, Microsoft alleges that in the fall of 2012 the defendants distributed to an undercover investigator a computer system with an unauthorized copy of Windows XP installed.

Microsoft says the case is not an isolated incident. Rather, it alleges the defendants have been and continue to be involved in advertising, marketing, installing, offering and/or distributing counterfeit and infringing copies of Microsoft’s software and/or related components.

Click here to see a copy of Micrsoft's legal complaint.