Microsoft is suing nine people for selling on discounted copies of its software.
The individuals are all based in the
The MAPS initiative is a programme that provides eligible partners with discounted Microsoft software packages for product evaluation and internal use.
The MAPS-related lawsuits, the first Microsoft has filed, allege flagrant and repeated abuse of the programme. Some of those named in the lawsuits have allegedly attempted to sell software from their subscriptions to consumers through online auction sites.
Through its own monitoring of the MAPS scheme, Microsoft said it became aware of abuses of the subscription service, including subscribers falsifying information to receive the programme benefits and software products multiple times.
The MAPS agreement stipulates that partners may subscribe to MAPS only once each year, and that the software may not be resold. It also says the software must be used only at the partner’s primary business location and only for business purposes such as application development and testing.
“Our partners are negatively affected by the activities of those who compete unfairly, by either selling illegal software and components, or abusing agreements that other partners abide by,” said John Ball, general manager for Microsoft’s US System Builders Partner Group, which works with businesses that manufacture computers.
“These dishonest resellers sell products at minimal costs, undercutting the business of legitimate resellers. Those who operate ethically within the law take a hard financial hit. We like to see our honest partners succeed,” he said.
Three other lawsuits have been filed by Microsoft against companies in