Microsoft filed a lawsuit late Friday against an IP address, alleging that an individual or group of individuals has been using that IP address to illegally activate copies of Windows, Office, and other products without the proper license.
A traditional holiday news dump, the complaint filed in Western Washington District Court says that someone used an IP address to attempt to activate pirated or unlicensed copies of Microsoft’s flagship software products. A WhoIs search of the IP address (220.127.116.11) leads to a Comcast office in suburban New Jersey, but it’s unclear who is really on the receiving end of the complaint, filed against “John Does 1-10.”
Microsoft representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case appears to be very similar to a separate lawsuit filed by Microsoft in March 2016 that court records indicate was dismissed later that year after an undisclosed settlement was reached. In this suit, the company indicated that it believes the defendants were buying or selling discount computers furnished outside of normal distribution channels and loaded with illegally copied software, which they then tried to activate with legitimate product-activation keys.
“During the software activation process, Defendants contacted Microsoft activation servers in Washington over 2800 times from December 2014 to July 2017, and transmitted detailed information to those servers in order to activate the software,” the company said in the complaint. Later in the complaint, Microsoft said the defendants attempted to activate over 1,000 copies of unlicensed software with keys that had either been used too many times already or were supposed to be used in a different region.
Microsoft is claiming both copyright and trademark infringement, and asked the court to impound all copies of the unlicensed software. A copy of the complaint follows below.