The United States District Court for the Central District of California has awarded Symantec Corporation $21 million in damages against a large network of distributors selling counterfeit Symantec software. In civil cases filed in November 2006, Symantec alleged that ANYI, SILI, Yee Sha, and their affiliates engaged in trademark infringement, copyright infringement, fraud, unfair competition, and false advertising. Symantec’s investigations into these piracy rings coincided with and supported other investigations initiated by various law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, ultimately leading to the arrest of Mark Ma in Shenzhen by Chinese authorities in July 2007.
“Our customers are the real winners as a result of this case. A judgment like this is a crippling blow against these particular syndicates and will drive them even further underground, making it more difficult for them to sell directly to unsuspecting users. It complicates their ability to operate behind the guise as legitimate businesses,” said Scott Minden, director, Symantec Legal department.