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In the last few days, the tech community has been divided on the conviction of Eric Lundgren in US federal court for infringing on Microsoft’s intellectual property. While Lundgren pled that his intentions were not wrong and he wanted to encourage the use of refurbished PCs, the court saw him in violation of Microsoft’s IPR.
This has also lead to people criticizing Microsoft for not supporting e-waste recycling and the use of refurbished PCs. Responding to the critics, company’s Corporate Vice President of Communications, Frank X. Shaw, wrote a detailed blog post defending Microsoft’s position on the case. He stated that Microsoft always supports recycling initiatives and the fact that Microsoft didn’t bring the lawsuit.
We fully support refurbishing and recycling of computers and have robust programs to support this. There are many individuals and companies who do great work here. We have programs that support refurbishers. Altogether these programs have more than 3,000 members, recycling millions of PCs.
Apart from this, Microsoft also noted few critical points related to the case which, while defending Microsoft, points to Lundgren as the culprit. Microsoft points out that they didn’t bring the case against Lundgren and the fact that Lundgren established an elaborate counterfeit supply chain in China. Moreover, he was warned by a customs seizure notice beforehand but he continued the business. Microsoft also notes that Lundgren pled guilty before the court and intended to make a profit off the initiative which was illegal, to begin with.
Lastly, Microsoft closed the blog post with a note that they do have a proper channel for the refurbishing of products and the company supports hundreds of legitimate recyclers while protecting customers. Microsoft has also attached evidence, appeals and court documents pertaining to the case in the blog post and is available publicly.
Source: Microsoft Blog