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Microsoft forced to stop selling four versions of Windows in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 18 Nov 2009 16:55 User comments (14)

Microsoft forced to stop selling four versions of Windows in China Beijing's leading Intermediate People's Court has ruled today that Microsoft must immediately cease sales of the Chinese versions of Windows 98, 2000, 2003 and XP after it was found that the OSs include fonts created by a local Chinese company, violating licensing agreements.
The ruling should cause a precedent in the region. "(Chinese firms) are going to think of China as a place to have their own litigation strategy, I think that's a trend that's coming," says Michael Vella, head of China litigation and intellectual property rights at Morrison & Foerster LLP. "We saw it in Taiwan. At first, Taiwanese companies were always on the defensive, and in recent years we have seen them initiating litigation."

The ruling specifically stated that Microsoft violated licensing agreements with Zhongyi Electronic, the company which had designed the Chinese character fonts.

Microsoft is prepared to appeal. "Microsoft respects intellectual property rights. We use third party IPs only when we have a legitimate right to do so," read a company press release.

Overall however, the decision will likely not affect Microsoft's bottom line in any way, given the high (80 percent-plus) piracy rates of the operating systems in China and the age of the operating systems in question.

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14 user comments

118.11.2009 17:34

I thought they stopped selling those versions of Windows anyway...? I certainly can't find them on their site or anything. I guess they do things differently over there.

218.11.2009 18:25

especially for win98 i think this is a great hit for MS and the pc users of china.
What are they going to do now without win98? They are doomed.

318.11.2009 19:54

Suing over fonts...wow

419.11.2009 0:07

I know you can still get these operating systems from the technet plus subscription...as far as I know, this is the only way to get windows versions before XP without pirating or buying used. These fonts must be terrible if they removed them from vista...vista wasn't shy about having too many fonts.

519.11.2009 3:10

Originally posted by ooZEROoo:
Suing over fonts...wow

If they earn their lively hood by making fonts, more power to them.

619.11.2009 4:37

Quote:
Originally posted by ooZEROoo:
Suing over fonts...wow

If they earn their lively hood by making fonts, more power to them.
The fonts are owned by a chinese "corporation". If they don't make money, the government with give them money. If they do make money, the government will take the profits. No livelyhoods are at stake here.

719.11.2009 6:59

The whole idea of a Chinese court deciding on an intellectual property issue is laughable. Their entire country runs on pirate software (as mentioned in the article) and virtually every product on their store shelves is a rip-off of some western firm's original.

On the bright side, their sales girls are cuter and more helpful than most of those in the west.

819.11.2009 15:44

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by ooZEROoo:
Suing over fonts...wow

If they earn their lively hood by making fonts, more power to them.
The fonts are owned by a chinese "corporation". If they don't make money, the government with give them money. If they do make money, the government will take the profits. No livelyhoods are at stake here.
Only if it's a government owned company, as people can now own their own company.

919.11.2009 18:46

The people who are busy scoffing at Chinese companies which make money by selling fonts would do well to consider that a Chinese font (typeface) can include over 30,000 glyphs, with some characters numbering more than 30 strokes. How long would it take YOU just to copy out every glyph by hand? Check out a Wikipedia article on Chinese characters

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_character

1019.11.2009 20:08

Ah M$ youve done it again. Everything goes well for awhile then all of a sudden BAM from nowhere you guys get busted.

Quick plead poor mouth like you did with the xml and get your friends in as well, you know Compaq, Dell, Acer and all them they will help you out again.

1119.11.2009 22:22

this is no Surprise the Chinese own everything. the Chinese Don't import anything they always seem to be a major export country.

i couldn't figure for the life of me why we still trade with china, they have everything to offer yet when American made goods hit them they inspect that stuff like its a bomb. and for the most Part We are told its to be modified to there liking, and as dumb a county as we are we listen it costs us money to make them happy and they know it.

1219.11.2009 23:16

I wish people would just stop making products for the chinese, let their corrupt government whither and die like they did to the soviet union. It's not like companies would loose revenues, the chinese just steal everything anyway.

1321.11.2009 7:34

just goes to show u that u can create pattens for anything big or small part of software or hardware :)

1421.11.2009 16:41

Originally posted by KillerBug:
I wish people would just stop making products for the chinese, let their corrupt government whither and die like they did to the soviet union. It's not like companies would loose revenues, the chinese just steal everything anyway.

Actually it was the Soviet Union that made Russia the way it is today, one of the worlds superpower.

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