Consumer sovereignty in the framework of social justice, economic equality and environmental balance, within and across borders

Thai firms face software charges

May 17, 2014

Three Thai processed-food exporters are facing prosecution in the US for using pirated software in their production processes.

Kullanee Issadisai, acting Intellectual Property Department director general, told Spring News Arkansas attorney general had told the department the three Thai manufacturers of canned corn and fruit juice had been accused of violating the US Unfair Competition Act.

The law, in effect in Washington, Louisiana and Massachusetts, mandates that manufacturers whose products are sold in the these states stop using pirated or unlicensed software to manufacture, distribute, or market their products. The law covers manufacturers across the world selling their products to states that have passed such laws.

The law permits a competing manufacturer or state attorney general to commence civil proceedings against those manufacturers who do not comply with the law, which could lead to a ban of their exports in those US states until the producer complies with the law.

She did not reveal the names of the companies.

In 2012, Narong Seafood, a Thai frozen food exporter, was prosecuted under the law in the US state of Massachusetts. It alleged the company was unfairly selling and delivering products in the state by illegally using pirated software without paying the appropriate licensing fees.

Microsoft reported the company’s illegal use of its copyrighted software to the Massachusetts attorney general’s office after wrapping up its own suit against the Thai business.

The company agreed to pay $10,000 to resolve the allegations and pledged to no longer use unlicensed software in connection with the production of goods entering Massachusetts.

Ms Kullanaee warned Thai exporters to pay attention to this law and stop using prirated software in their workplaces and factories.

(Bangkok Post)