Microsoft has been awarded almost $4m (£2.2m) damages from a California man for trademark infringement, false advertising and cybersquatting.
The case stemmed from an unsolicited commercial (spam)
e-mail campaign to distribute a desktop toolbar program on recipients' Windows desktops.
Daniel Khoshnood was ordered to pay $3.95m after a California court found in favor of Microsoft in the civil case.
Microsoft started the action in June 2003 after receiving a flood of spam on its MSN and MSN Hotmail e-mail services from Khoshnood. The e-mails claimed to offer a toolbar that, once installed, would automatically update recipients' Windows systems with security patches.
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Microsoft won a summary judgement against Khoshnood and his companies, Pointcom and Joshuathan Investments, in January. That judgement ordered Khoshnood to stop using Microsoft's trademarks and name, refrain from spamming, and pay damages and legal fees to Microsoft.
Microsoft hailed the judgement as another victory for its anti-spam initiative. "Targeted enforcement activity is beginning to have a tangible, negative financial impact on spammers and is changing the economics of spam," the company said.
Microsoft said it has filed 60 lawsuits in the US against spammers worldwide. Of those cases it has so far has settled four, won six by default, had one summary judgement, and had one case dismissed.
The company has been awarded $54m in judgements from spammers, five of whom were among the top 10 known spammers, Microsoft said.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service