May 1, 2018

Are Russian courts using pirated software?

That is the bold claim of one of the countries former assistant judges in a complaint filed with the Intellectual Property Rights Court in Russia. It is alleged that the IP court is running pirated Microsoft programs on its IT infrastructure.

The former assistant judge, Alexander Shmuratov, has made the sensational claim after working for the court for several years on computers using Microsoft software with expired licenses. The claim explains that there would be a notice of "activation failure" appear on a daily basis when using any of the Microsoft Office suite of products.

The Court has been surprisingly open so far, confirming (i) that the complaint had been received, (ii) that it had been forwarded to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for further investigation, and (iii) that it strenuously denies the claim.

The Assistant Chairman of the court, Catherine Ulyanova expanded on the issue, stating that the complainant was removed from office after providing false income statements, and was unsuccessful in his appeal to be reinstated. This raises the inference that there may be some ulterior motive behind the litigation.

Ulyanova further explained that the licenses in question were purchased from a third party in 2006, and Microsoft had consented to further use of those licenses at a later date. She could not say, however, how the licenses were paid for nor how they were maintained.

It will be interesting to see whether this claim goes anywhere, and if Microsoft become directly embroiled in the battle.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: in: Copyright, EU/International, News

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