Bootcom takes MS to court

DQW Bureau
28 Nov 2008

In view of the constant harassment and extortion by Microsoft to sell genuine
software, Bhopal-based Bootcom Systems has filed a case against two of the
company's representatives-IPR Specialist Satish Pokhriwal and Nirupam
Bhattacharya, Area Sales Manager, Bhopal/Indore. Microsoft has been issuing
notices to dealers across the country to sell genuine software. According to
dealers, the company has been resorting to unfair means and putting unnecessary
pressure on them, adding to their woes.

Elaborating further Prakash Gupta, Proprietor, Bootcom Systems, Bhopal
mentioned, “Microsoft has always adopted a policy whereby the company puts
unnecessary pressure on its channel partners to sell their products. At times,
the company goes to the extent of filing false cases against dealers and raiding
their offices.” Both Pokhriwal and Bhattacharya have been asked to appear before
the court on Dec 12.

Gupta further added that the matter was brought to the notice of the court
only after the local police station refused to register his complaint against
the company. “I tried to lodge a complaint against the false allegations that
the company had put on me but was turned away by the local police station. I had
no option but to take legal recourse. These officials not only abused me but
also threatened to kill me. They alleged that I sell pirated versions of
software and also involved Rakesh Sharma, the local police station in charge in
the process,” alleged Gupta.

Apparently, this is not the first time that Microsoft has tried to harass
dealers. On Oct 20 this year, Pokhriwal and Bhattacharya had raided three
dealers in the region including Bhopal-based Latest Infotech and Netlink
Computers and Indore-based Natcom.

Bhupendra Gaur, CEO of Latest Infotech reiterated, “Last month a company
official came to my shop disguised as a customer and bought a laptop. When this
customer walked out of the shop, Microsoft officials caught hold of him and then
came in and raided my shop, stating that I was installing pirated versions of
Microsoft OS. This was followed by a notice from the company stating that I had
to pay a penalty of Rs 20 lakh or face imprisonment.” Gaur clarified stated that
he did not install the pirated version, and the company does not even have proof
as the customer was caught only after he had walked out of the shop.

Reacting to the allegations made by Bootcom, Vipul Sant, Director-Original
Software Initiative, Microsoft India stated, “The fact is that Gupta of Bootcom
Systems has a software piracy case against him pending before the Delhi High
Court filed by Microsoft in April 2008. We are not sure if Gupta has duly and
fully disclosed before the Bhopal District Court the copyright case and the
contempt proceedings pending against him. We will take appropriate steps before
the Bhopal Court to defend our employees and also appraise the court of all the
legal proceedings against Gupta and Bootcom. The charges are without merit and
have been fabricated against individual Microsoft employees as a reaction to the
legal proceedings against Gupta.”

Referring to other cases with Latest Infotech, Natcom and Netlink Computers,
Microsoft stated that the talks are ongoing with the three dealers and they are
hopeful that an amicable settlement will be arrived at.

In April 2008, Microsoft had filed a copyright case before the Delhi High
Court against Bootcom for indulging in software piracy in a regular manner.
Court has issued injunction against Bootcom restraining them from indulging in
software piracy. Court had also directed inspection of Bootcom commercial
premises and seizure of infringing material, which took place soon

after the Court passed a restraining order against Bootcom. Microsoft also filed
a Contempt of Court proceedings against Bootcom for violating the court
injunction order by continuing to indulge in software piracy towards end of
April 2008. All the proceedings are active and continuing before the Delhi High


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