Symantec has filed suit against eight companies accused of being software pirates, seeking a total of more than $55 million (£28 million) in damages.The firm filed the eight civil suits in the US, claiming the companies engaged in trademark infringement, copyright infringement, fraud, unfair competition, trafficking in counterfeit labels and documentation and false advertising.
Big Yellow is also seeking a permanent injunction against the firms that would prohibit them from further sales of unauthorised products.
The civil suits were filed against Acortech, mPlus, and Rowcal Distribution of California, SoftwareOutlets.com and Global Impact, Inc. of Florida, Logical Plus of New York, Directron.com of Texas, and eDirect Software of Canada.
Symantec is seeking damages ranging from £2 million to £5 million per company.
Scott Minden, Symantec’s director of legal affairs, told SCMagazine.com today that this is the greatest number of accused pirates that Symantec has taken on at once.
"When we find out where a customer has purchased [pirated software] from, we can take appropriate action and make our own test purchases. Once we gather enough evidence – and that can take a year or two years or so – to take action, we do so," he said. "The main purpose [of the lawsuit] is to make sure that this counterfeit product doesn’t get out there, and to protect our customers from purchasing what they think is a Symantec product, but can ultimately subject the customer to problems with their computer."
Symantec also investigated software referred by customers, said Minden.
Symantec said today that it inspected pirated versions of Norton SystemWorks, Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, pcAnywhere and Symantec AntiVirus Small Business Edition.
The anti-virus giant indicated that most of the counterfeit sales took place online, and that most investigated products were delivered in blank sleeves without documentation, directions or other labels.
Reached by phone, an Acortech employee who handles press requests said he was not aware of the lawsuit.
Contact information for mPlus, Logical Plus, SoftwareOutlets.com, Rowcal Distribution and Global Impact could not be obtained today.
Messages left today for Directron.com and eDirect Software were not immediately answered.