Piracy on the high street

The big legal news last week was that Microsoft has issued proceedings against Comet for breach of intellectual property rights.

Microsoft alleges that Comet copied and sold 94,000 copies of Windows XP and Windows Vista recovery CDs. The CDs were sold to customers who were buying PCs and laptops with Windows already loaded on, for them to use if the software needed reinstalling.

Microsoft has alleged that the discs were reproduced without permission or a licence. Comet has taken legal advice however, and is confident that it has not breached any intellectual property rights. Both Microsoft and Comet have said that they were acting in the best interests of their customers.

Comet is due to be sold by Kesa Electricals PLC to OpCapita in February for a nominal sum of £1 for Comet itself and another £1 for Triptych Insurance, which provides warranties for Comet’s goods. What’s worse Kesa also had to invest £50m in Comet and retain liability for the pension scheme. The high street retailer has had a very hard year and these allegations may well turn out to be the final nail in the coffin.

If you are concerned about the use of your intellectual property then please get in touch with Stephen Attree or Awena Parry, our corporate and commercial solicitors at Myers Lister Price Solicitors on 0845 0738 445 or by e-mail at info@mlpsolicitors.co.uk