Overstock, Microsoft Settle Suit over Piracy Allegations

Microsoft Monday settled a legal battle with Salt Lake City-based online retailer Overstock.com , in which it alleged the company had been advertising unauthorized Microsoft software.

The two parties did not disclose the terms of the settlement.

“We determined that reaching a settlement sooner would be less costly than prolonging the litigation,” said Jonathan Johnson, general counsel for Overstock.com. “Although the settlement amount was substantial, it was not material to the company’s liquidity and will not affect the future prospects of the company. We’re glad to have the matter behind us.”

The lawsuit first came to public attention in August 2002, when Overstock.com revealed in a filing with the SEC that Microsoft was suing it for allegedly distributing “counterfeit and otherwise unauthorized Microsoft software.”

Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com is one of the few e-tailers that thrived in the wake of the dot-com crash. It rapidly achieved profitability, based partly on its strategy of buying surplus tech products from the liquidation of other dotcom firms. Having already purchased the products at bargain-basement prices, the site would turn around and sell them to customers at deep discounts off the regular retail price.

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