Trends and cases on
IT and fair competition rules

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The way companies react to the unfair competition laws and IT rules and regulations will make a significant difference to their business growth. Companies should be proactive to cope with the emerging enforcement of unfair competition legislation around the world.

Illegal IT use: an issue for global economy

The use of illegal IT programs is by no means a new issue for the global economy. For years, consumers and enterprises alike have fallen back on illegal IT for their computing needs because of a variety of reasons, such as cost, weakness of internal controls and lack of education on the issue.

Law officials in the United States and other countries are using both existing laws and new legislation to address the issue and promote responsible business practices. Companies should be proactive to cope with the emerging enforcement of unfair competition legislation around the world.

Unfair competition related lawsuit cases and disputes

In October 2012, the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley fined Narong Seafood, a Thai seafood processor who sold and delivered products in Massachusetts, $10,000 for the use of pirated Microsoft software. In additional to paying a civil penalty, the company agreed not to use unlicensed software in connection with the production or sale goods entering in Massachusetts.

In January 2013, California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed lawsuits against two international apparel manufactures – China-based Ningbo Beyond Home Textile Co., Ltd. and India-based Pratibha Syntex – for allegedly attempting to gain unfair competitive advantage over American companies by using pirated software in the production of clothing imported and sold in California.

On 3 April 2013, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson shared news that Microsoft recently used Washington State’s unfair competition law to resolve a dispute over software licensing issues with a manufacturing company in Latin America. The resolution is the first time a company has resolved a matter under the new unfair competition law of Washington State.

About this report

This report is an update of our earlier publication New rules and regulations on IT and fair competition – Trends and impact, which covered illegal use of IT and its impact on fair competition, the trends arising in business competition from illegal usage of IT, the potential impact of rules and regulations concerned with illegal IT use and fair competition and strategies that can be employed to address the expected impact.

In this report, we discuss rules and regulations on IT and fair competition via the following topics: