Symantec sues distributors for alleged fake software

Symantec is seeking more than US$55 million from eight businesses for allegedly selling counterfeit software.

Symantec Corp. is suing eight businesses for allegedly selling counterfeit software, the security vendor said Wednesday.

The suits, filed over the last six months in U.S. district courts in California, seek between US$4 million to $10 million in damages from each business, totaling more than $55 million, Symantec said. The suits, which request jury trials, also allege trademark infringement, fraud and unfair competition.

Symantec is one of many large software vendors, including Microsoft Corp., taking legal action to try to cut down on software piracy.

Symantec is also asking for injunctions to prevent the companies from selling unauthorized software and to forfeit counterfeit software.

The businesses named are Acortech.com of California; m-Plus International Technology Inc. of Florida; Logical Plus Inc. of New York; SoftwareOutlets.com Inc. of Florida; Rowcal Distribution of California; Global Impact Inc. of Florida; Directron.com Inc. of Texas; and eDirect Software of Canada. Most of the sales were conducted online, Symantec said.

Symantec investigated the businesses by buying and then testing software and by reviewing defective discs submitted by customers. The alleged pirated software includes the company's Norton SystemWorks, Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, pcAnywhere and Symantec AntiVirus Small Business Edition.

Some of the questionable disks were delivered in blank white sleeves with no documentation, branded packaging or activation codes, Symantec said.

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