Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Sued for Sidekick Disaster, Fined for Using “Money Power” to “Harass” Defendants

Capitol place



Summary: Sidekick lawsuits arrive in class action form and Microsoft's dirty games in the courtroom finally have it punished severely

Microsoft recently cut its legal budget by 15% and axed many lawyers. Given the sheer number of patent lawsuits against Microsoft (still increasing), this is a recipe for trouble but yet another lawsuit (class action) has come to hit Microsoft. Here are the latest news reports:



'Sidekick' owners sue Microsoft over cell data wipeout

They lost song lyrics, phone numbers and e-mails -- all stored on their Sidekick phones -- and now several Chicago area residents are suing software giant Microsoft Inc. and subsidiary Danger Inc. for a server backup problem that caused the wipeout.

The four plaintiffs named in the suit have yet to recover the data from the October incident, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.


'Sidekick' owners sue Microsoft over cell data wipeout

T-Mobile Sidekick users file class action suit against Microsoft

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Microsoft by disgruntled Sidekick users who lost all their mobile data a few months ago.

According to the suit, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Terrence Taraszka, Katie Taraszka, Adam Beckelman and Michael Guerrero -- and others like them -- lost e-mail and text messages, contact information, phonebooks, calendars, notes, and favorite internet addresses stored in their Sidekick mobile phones when Microsoft and Danger, Inc.'s data servers failed on Oct. 2, 2009.


Sidekick Users Seek $75K in Class Action Suit

T-Mobile Sidekick users sue Microsoft

Chicago-area residents have filed a class action lawsuit against Microsoft after losing data on their sidekick phones.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, claims that the plaintiffs- Terrence Taraszka, Katie Taraszka, Adam Beckelman and Michael Guerrero- lost email, text messages, contacts, phonebooks, calendars, nots and other media when their Sidekick phones suffered a technical glitch.


We previously wrote about Sidekick in:



How might Microsoft deal with the lawsuits? So far it has been using false promises (saying it would restore the data) to discourage plaintiffs and keep lawsuits at bay. Failing that, Microsoft has another outrageous strategy which the Indian press has covered:

It’s a capital cost all right! Delhi High Court has asked Microsoft Corporation to shell out Rs.800,000 ($16,000) for choosing to fight four copyright violation cases in the Indian capital even though they originated in other cities.

The order came after the court found that the alleged violations occurred in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Mumbai.

Not only did the court note that Microsoft had offices in these cities, but it also said the company was using “money power” to “harass” the defendants, who would have to travel to Delhi to fight the cases.


This strategy is used in many cases to drain and exhaust those who sue Microsoft, until they run out of money that's required to make more motions. There are many such recent examples, including various lawsuits against Microsoft for misconduct surrounding Windows Vista. A reader of ours has just found a similar report in the India Times and sent us a pointer.

Is it not ironic that Microsoft is fighting "four copyright violation cases" while at the same time Microsoft is arrogantly ignoring copyright law? That's just total hypocrisy. Here is a new article from the China Daily:

Microsoft Corp has been ordered by a Chinese court to stop selling versions of its Windows operating systems that include fonts designed by a local company, citing a violation of licensing agreements.

[...]

Microsoft will have to stop selling the Chinese versions of its Windows 98, 2000, 2003 and Windows XP, according to the court. It is unclear when the ruling will take effect or how many copies are affected.


This is a copyright violation that we wrote about before. It is still in the news. Microsoft also broke copyright/patent law when it knowingly infringed on i4i patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and violated the GNU GPL. It only complied last week after being caught.

At the same time, Microsoft is pushing this article where it sucks up to a monopolist supreme -- a new government role which is intended to maximise copyright zeal. Given that Microsoft's actions are offering their support to ACTA, Microsoft is a major part of this problem. Here is the opening part of the cocky Microsoft placement:

Late Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm Victoria Espinel as the first United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). Microsoft applauds this action and welcomes the opportunity to work with Ms. Espinel as she moves into her new role.


We mentioned this appointment before. Biden is extremely pro-intellectual monopolies.

"Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I'm an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat."

--Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

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