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Millions of Brits stand to get a refund from Microsoft if a £1 billion lawsuit due to be filed next week is successful.

The action, one of around 130 pending against the software giant, will be filed by a bunch of solicitors on behalf of Windows customers that bought the software outside the US, the Guardian reports.

It will be the first big test of a change in American law, which allows non-US citizens to claim damages as victims of monopolies, when it goes to the US district court in Maryland on Monday.

The lawyers are members of the newly formed alliance Global Anti-Cartel Network, which is made up of 29 law firms spanning six continents. They claim Microsoft overcharged each user by at least £20, and aim to reclaim up to half the price customers paid for the software. And how much of that would end up in the customers' pockets, after those public service lawyers have had their fill at the trough?

The European side of proceedings is headed by Michael Cover of Mishcon de Reya, the London law firm which acted for Princess Diana in her divorce from Price Charles.

This week an Oregon judge ruled that consumers couldn't sue Microsoft for overpricing Windows because they didn't buy the software directly from the company. ®

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