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Sat, Apr 06, 2013

Washington’s New 'Unfair Competition Law' Used To Protect Microsoft

Embraer, World’s 4th Largest Aircraft Manufacturer, Now 'In Full Compliance'

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson shared news Wednesday that Microsoft recently used a new state unfair competition law to resolve a dispute over software licensing issues with the world’s fourth largest aircraft manufacturer, Embraer. The Attorney General’s Office helped pass the new law aimed at protecting both IP and fair competition in Washington and exchanged several letters with the Brazilian company in an effort to resolve this matter before taking more formal steps.  

“I’m pleased to learn the dispute relating to the use of Microsoft software is resolved and that Embraer is now in full compliance with the law,” Ferguson said.  “Our office is committed to protecting Washington businesses and consumers and ensuring that powerful interests that don’t play by the rules are held accountable. Any company wishing to do business in our state must compete fairly.”

Foreign manufacturers are increasingly engaging in IT theft and software piracy to unfairly compete against U.S. manufacturers, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The alliance estimates the total commercial value of IT theft at $63.4 billion. “When competitors use stolen software, it hurts the ability of law-abiding businesses that pay fair value for their software to compete,” Ferguson said. “This theft also robs the technology sector—one of the key drivers of economic growth in our country—of its work.”

According to BSA, if the U.S. can reduce piracy by just 10 percent in two years, it would add $52 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), $8 billion in U.S. tax revenue, and 25,431 new jobs across the U.S.

In 2011, Washington became the first state in the nation to enact a Stolen or Misappropriated Information Technology Law, making it unlawful to offer for sale in Washington a product manufactured using stolen or misappropriated technology.

FMI: www.atg.wa.gov

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