China Says Microsoft Violates IP With Windows, Bars Sales

from the well,-look-at-that dept

For years, Microsoft has been among the loudest complainers concerning "piracy" in China, so it's a bit of a surprise to see things switched around a bit. Mesanna was the first of a few to alert us that a Chinese court has found Microsoft guilty of violating the intellectual property of a local firm, Zhongyi Electronics, and demanded that the company cease selling Windows XP throughout China. The issue is the Chinese character fonts. According to Zhongyi, Microsoft licensed them for Windows 95, but not other versions. Microsoft, of course, insists that it is not infringing, and says it will appeal the ruling.

Still, with this ruling, as well as the recent attack on Google for violating copyright in China, it makes you wonder if China is doing this in an attempt to show American firms what might happen if they actually get what they "want" in terms of stronger copyright enforcement in China.
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Filed Under: china, ip. copyright, software, windows
Companies: microsoft, zhongyi


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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 19 Nov 2009 @ 10:26am

    So why doesn't MS just hire someone to create a new set of Chinese fonts based on the originals? Unless I'm mistaken, you can't copyright, for lack of a better term, an alphabet, only the look of a specific font. All they have to do is copy the font while making it look slightly different. Use the original fonts for reference as to what the characters should look like, the hinting/kerning, etc. Then dump the old, licensed fonts.

    I know that Chinese fonts are much more complex than the English alphabet, but I've messed around with a font editor before and it wasn't exactly hard to make basic characters. How hard could be it for an experienced user to create a new, slightly different Chinese font that MS would own?

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