Winternals Sues Best Buy
Texas software company alleges that Best Buy's Geek Squad subsidiary is using unlicensed copies of Winternals' diagnosis tools.
-- Texas software company Winternals has filed
a lawsuit against Best Buy Co. Inc. in federal court on Tuesday, alleging
that the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer was using unlicensed
versions of its diagnostic equipment.
In response, a U.S. District Court granted Winternals Software LP's request
for a temporary restraining order.
In the lawsuit, Winternals alleges employees of Best Buy's computer-repair
subsidiary, Geek Squad Inc., have been using pirated versions of the software
since talks on a commercial licensing agreement broke off.
The suit accuses Best Buy and its subsidiaries of copyright infringement,
circumvention of copyright infringement systems and misappropriation of
Best Buy officials did not immediately return a call from The Associated
Press seeking comment.
According to the lawsuit, Winternals and Minnesota-based Best Buy began
negotiating an agreement to use a Windows-based systems recovery and data
protection software last fall. The lawsuit says Best Buy broke off negotiations
in February, saying it was no longer interested in the commercial license.
Each software copy costs $1,200 and the two companies were negotiating
a deal for bundled software worth several million dollars, said Winternals
attorney David Weaver of Vinson & Elkins LP.
Winternals plans to seek an undetermined sum for damages, Weaver said.
A hearing has been set for May 12 in Austin.
Meanwhile, Best Buy has 20 days to provide all copies of the software,
identify who used the software and where it was found, and explain how
each copy was obtained or duplicated, according to the restraining order.