Microsoft accused of patent violation in China

  • putting Microsoft in an unfamiliar position of defending its practices in China.

BEIJING - A small Chinese high-tech firm is suing Microsoft Corp because it says the software giant has stolen its creation that allows Internet users to type Chinese characters, but Microsoft countered the claim on Friday.

Zhengma, the core product of Beijing-based Zhongyi Electronic Ltd., allows Internet surfers to convert Chinese words typed in the Roman alphabet into Chinese characters. "Microsoft hasn't paid us for 10 years, since they paid for using Zhengma in Windows 95 in 1998," Lan Dekang, general manager of Zhongyi, was quoted by Xinhua news agency.

The lawsuit puts Microsoft in the unfamiliar position of defending its intellectual property practices in China after years of fighting piracy of its software there.

Microsoft said in a statement that it had the right to use Zhongyi's product and fonts after the two parties entered into agreements under the supervision of Chinese government agencies.
"Microsoft has fully performed its obligations including paying Zhongyi the license fees in accordance with the license agreements," the statement said.

Zhongyi has not yet established a litigation target because it does not know how many sets of Windows operating systems are in use, Xinhua reported.


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