A Rochester computer recycling firm is facing charges of trademark infringement leveled by Microsoft Corp.
The software giant last week filed a court complaint accusing Maven Technologies LLC of selling computers pre-loaded with illegal Windows software. The action, filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court in Rochester, cites Maven’s alleged online sales of computers loaded with unauthorized copies of Windows operating systems.
The suit personally names the Rochester company’s president, Todd Wheaton, as well as the company. Wheaton could not immediately be reached for comment.
Located on Lyell Avenue, Maven bills itself as the first officially certified electronics recycler in the state and the 11th company to gain such certification nationally. In March, it ran a countywide recycling event at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where Monroe County residents could drop off electronic equipment.
Maven also sells equipment, including laptops and PCs. on eBay.
In court papers, Microsoft claims it first warned Maven of the alleged infringements in 2005 but got no response. The brief cites purchases in 2011 from Maven by a Microsoft investigator, who allegedly bought computers illegally loaded with Windows XP software.
“These are not isolated incidents,” the court complaint claims. “Rather, (Maven has) been and continue(s) to be involved in advertising, marketing, installing, offering, and/or distributing counterfeit and infringing copies of Microsoft’s software and/or related components.”
Microsoft is seeking unspecified damages amounting to triple profits Maven realized from sales of illegal Windows software. To collect a treble award, Microsoft would have to show not only that Maven infringed on its trademarks, but the Rochester company did so willfully.
Should Maven be able to show it made no profits from infringing sales, Microsoft alternately asks for statutory damages of up to $150,000. The software giant also asks to be repaid for its legal costs.
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