Microsoft today issued proceedings against Comet Group
PLC for allegedly creating and selling more than 94,000
sets of counterfeit Windows Vista and Windows XP
The alleged counterfeits were sold to customers who had
purchased Windows-loaded PCs and laptops.
"As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet
produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs
to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom," said
David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide
Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft.
"Comet's actions were unfair to customers. We expect
better from retailers of Microsoft products - and our
customers deserve better, too."
The suit charges Comet with producing the counterfeits
in a factory in Hampshire and then selling the media to
customers from its retail outlets across the U.K.
Comet is currently owned by French retail company Kesa
Electricals PLC, although it is reportedly being
purchased by private equity firm OpCapita LLP later
According to Kesa, Comet provided the discs as a service to its customers between March 2008 and December 2009. It stopped the practice when Microsoft raised objections. Consumers buying PCs or laptops could create their own recovery CDs but many did not, and faced problems when their computers failed, he said.
Comet plans to defend its position.