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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10387
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have just received an email from a law firm in London

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I have just received an email from a law firm in London claiming my old business, which i ran as a sole trader from October 2015- April 2016 had violated Microsoft Intellectual property rights. it was a threatening document with various accusations ranging from counterfeit software production to selling counterfeit software even after warning. These allegations are ridiculous;
1- The complaint was lodged for the eBay selling platform, i have throughout my business history received one intellectual property right violation, which was early on as i didn't know i had to seek permission to sell, after this i joined the Microsoft partner program and sold Microsoft packages which i had permission to do so
2- My history has over 400 transactions with only 8 complaints 2-3 have been lodged for counterfeit software, as is the nature of Ebay some customers complain for free products and others are competitors so 3 complaint out of 400+ is not significant.
3- i was asked to present one product to Microsoft for investigation which i did they agreed it was legitimate and allowed me to continue selling, i have proof of this correspondence
4. my business is no longer operational therefore even if i was violating and law i am not continually doing this as no business is functioning.
if you could help me in this regard i would greatly appreciate it

Are you sure this actually came from Microsoft’s solicitors? It’s unusual for them to do this by email, normally you would get a letter through the post.

Are you able to scan and attach the email please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ive attached the file that i was sent, done a background check on the firm and although they are small they seem to be a registered practice

The letter appears to be genuine. The firm is genuine and the person named at the top of the letter does work for the firm although I can’t find her listed on the Law Society website, there is press comment about her work which does include this type of work.

I can’t find anything which suggests that Microsoft use this firm but certainly, the content of the letter is credible. It may not be accurate but it is correctly laid out.

It would appear, that in view have not carried out any infringing activities, someone has reported this or someone from Microsoft has picked it up without being aware of the history. What you mustn’t do is ignore this.

I suggest that you write back to the firm saying that you have received the letter and you note the contents and that you can reply specifically to section 2 and section deny any wrongdoing because all the items that you sold have been genuine.

Say that there have been spurious complaints andallegations of unlicensed transactions previously made to their client and that this was investigated by their client on the date that it was investigated and give them the name of whoever it was that you dealt with. Preferably, send also a copy of the correspondence and suggest that they contact their client directly.

That should hopefully be the end of the matter.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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We can still exchange emails. Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i will write back to them today thank you for help, i will keep you updated on the matter.