Published: Wednesday January 9, 2013 MYT 5:05:00 PM
Computer vendor loses appeal against decision on Microsoft copyright lawsuit
By QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here has maintained a High Court decision in favor of Microsoft Corp, in a copyright lawsuit against a local computer dealer for pre-installing unlicensed Microsoft software into new computers it sold.
A three-member panel Wednesday chaired by Justice Zaharah Ibrahim unanimously dismissed Vital IT Marketing Services Sdn Bhd's application to appeal against the High Court's decision, saying the judgement by the then judicial commisioner, Hanipah Farikullah was good.
"Therefore, we find no reason to interfere with the judgement," said Zaharah.
The panel, which included justices Mah Weng Kwai and K. Ananthan, also ordered Vital IT to pay Microsoft RM30,000 in costs.
On April 4 last year, Hanipah, now a High Court judge, awarded Microsoft an injunction against Vital IT prohibiting it from further infringing on Microsoft's copyright.
She also ordered Vital IT to surrender any pirated copies of Microsoft software in its possession and awarded Microsoft damages (still to be assessed) and court costs.
In her grounds of judgement, Hanipah said the testimony by computer technician Nadzri Sulaiman verified the software was unlicensed, adding that Vital IT too admitted to selling the laptop.
"In my view, the plaintiff (Microsoft) has proven that the defendant (Vital IT) sold a computer which was loaded with unlicensed software, thus infringing the plaintiff's copyright," said Hanifah.
Counsel for Microsoft, Ken St James, told reporters that the software company had no choice but to clamp down on companies that loaded unlicensed software.
"It is highly profitable for such companies when they avoid paying licensing fees, which allows them to sell with higher margins or at lower prices with no loss, resulting in unfair competition against companies that legally include software on their computers," he said.
Co-counsel Harleen Kaur said members of public could determine if their computer has legal software by either checking it for a Certificate of Authenticity, and ensuring that user manuals, end-user agreements and DVDs for the software were bundled with the purchase.