Microsoft has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of Western Washington against Phoenix, Arizona-based Global Electronic Recyling (GER) for breach of contract, breach of good faith, negligence in performance of services, negligent supervision and contributory copyright infringement.
Microsoft had contracted with GER to destroy and dispose of Microsoft products, including Microsoft software and product key cards that it no longer wished to sell. According to court documents, GER promised to provide “certified destruction and recycling, reuse and/or recovery of plastic and metallic component parts of Microsoft material.” Under the terms of the contract, GER promised that Microsoft’s material would be rendered unusable for its original purpose, would not be resold, and would not be sent to a landfill for disposal.
The Microsoft suit says that as many as 10 GER employees allegedly stole and illegally distributed 70,000 Microsoft Office 2010 software product activation key cards and that GER’s owners Danny and Gary Kirkpatrick “acted…in reckless disregard of Microsoft’s rights.”
Microsoft is asking the court to order DER pay for damages resulting from the infringement, including the cost of the software and attorney fees.
Earlier this year, Microsoft, SERI and PC Rebuilders & Recyclers announced the launch of a pilot project to create incentives for purchasing refurbished computers.
Photo credit: Microsoft corporate building via Shutterstock.