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Martin Murray

Unfair Competition

By February 26, 2013

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 There are a number of states in the US that have passed unfair competition laws which companies are not allowed to sell products manufactured using stolen or counterfeit software or technologies. In October 2011, 39 state attorneys general committed to take intellectual technology piracy seriously by informing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), that they plan to use state laws to prosecute manufacturers who use stolen intellectual technology. State lawmakers were aware of local companies being asked to compete against foreign companies using illegal software worth up to $20 million.

The American Chamber of Commerce in India (AmCham India) has informed Indian exporters that if they do not comply with US state unfair competition laws, that they will lose access to many US markets. The California Attorney General has filed suit against an Indian apparel company, Pratibha Syntex, alleging that not all licenses used in the companies are legal and genuine, including products manufactured by Adobe, Microsoft, Symantec and others. The suit alleges that Pratibha Syntex has an unfair advantage in competition as they not paid software licensing fees. According to the Business Software Alliance India had a piracy rate of 63 per cent.

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March 2, 2013 at 4:48 am
(1) Karen Stephens says:

Ms. Harris is trying to do her best by the clothing firms in LA, I understand that, but she is way off base with this type of lawsuit. I can see the Chinese and Indian firms laughing their heads off. I hope Microsoft go after these firms and recover some of the lost licensing fees, but I don’t rate their chances.

March 2, 2013 at 6:54 am
(2) Joseph Lightman says:

Will this lawsuit ever go anywhere? I don’t think so, but its a good political move to please the unions in the apparel industry.

March 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm
(3) Geoff Rice says:

I am not sure that the California Attorney General is going to get much satisfaction from the Chinese and Indian firms she is going after but I am sure it will not do her any harm when it comes to re-election time.

March 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm
(4) Don Foulds says:

Of course the AG of California should go after these firms, I would imagine that MS or Adobe should too as they are losing millions in licensing. I wish the British government had the balls to stand up to Indian firms that flout the law.

March 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm
(5) Brad Spade says:

Personally I think the California AG is doing the right thing for garment workers although it does seem that this a political move rather than a legitimate lawsuit to reclaim monies from foreign companies.

March 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm
(6) Venkat Bhattacharya says:

I do not think that any company in India or China is going to give one penny to the state of California. How is the California government going to try to get their money even if they win, which they will not.

March 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm
(7) Neal Woodley says:

This looks like a very political move to me, is this AG running for Governor next time or other office, that would make more sense. No way is she going to win this case. Sabre-rattling at best.

March 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm
(8) Deepak S. says:

Why is this american lawyer trying to penalize companies in India? This is very wrong. The companies may be using software that is not licensed but it up to the software companies to get the license fees, not some lawyer in California.

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