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Intellectual Property Dispute Round-Up, Part 1

Two recent intellectual property disputes have made the news, one involving Microsoft Corp. and the other involving the author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling. U.S. computer software company Microsoft is cracking down on the piracy of its software in China. On the other side of litigation is J.K. Rowling and her publisher, Scholastic, who are defending against an intellectual property lawsuit. The lawsuit claims Rowling stole the intellectual property of another British author in order to create one of the books in her wildly popular Harry Potter series.

Yesterday, as reported by Bloomberg, Microsoft announced that it had agreed to drop an intellectual property lawsuit against a Chinese company, CITIC Kington Securities, because they reached an agreement on software purchases. In the settlement agreement, CITIC Kington Securities will buy 3.23 million yuan ($477,000) of Microsoft software.

 

China currently ranks as the world’s third largest economy. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in May that the company is losing billions of dollars to software piracy in China, and the company has recently been trying to crack down on unlicensed software use by Chinese companies.

Bloomberg reports that in April a Shanghai court ruled against a Chinese insurance company, saying they had infringed upon Microsoft’s intellectual property rights. Last year, four people in China were sent to prison after being convicted of illegally selling pirated Microsoft products.

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