Nearly 100,000 counterfeit recovery disks were created and sold, lawsuit alleges
High-street electronics giant Comet is being sued by Microsoft for allegedly creating and selling 94,000 counterfeit Windows XP and Vista recovery CDs.
Microsoft alleges that Comet created and then sold the recovery CDs to clients that had already bought legitimate copies of the operating systems. According to Microsoft the disks were created at a factory in Hampshire and sold at stores across the UK.
In a statement Microsoft said that the move was unfair. "As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom," the statement from David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft, read.
"Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too," he added.
A recovery disk allows a user to install a fresh version of the operating system if something should go wrong, such as a failed update or if the system is attack by a virus. However in recent years the popularity of recovery CDs shipped with an operating system has fallen as customers started to make their own or started to store more data in the cloud.
The Telegraph article suggests that Comet was making these disks to save their customers the trouble of doing so.
In a statement released to CBR, Comet defended its actions: "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," the statement added.
Comet is currently owned by French retail company Kesa Electricals but is reportedly an acquisition target for private equity firm OpCapita LLP.