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Symantec hits counterfeit biz for $3.2m

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Symantec has won damages of $3.2m against a company selling fake versions of its anti-virus software. The owner of the business, Richard Mastrogiovanni, must personally pay $25,000 damages to Symantec.

Mastrogiovanni's company, Papa B Enterprises, sold counterfeit software on auction websites. A US federal court imposed a permanent injunction on him and his company, preventing them from making or distributing any products with Symantec trademarks. They are also required to help Symantec in investigations into other counterfeiters.

William Plante, director of corporate security at Symantec said the fact that "Papa B was selling counterfeit Symantec software via outlets such as mainstream, online auction houses made this a particularly alarming case and something Symantec was very aggressive in pursuing".

Joy Cartun, a Symantec lawyer, said damages would have been far lower if Papa B had co-operated with investigators:

"By refusing to quickly reveal suppliers and sales volumes, in addition to other details, we were left with little choice but to pursue this case as aggressively as possible and seek the maximum amount of damages."

Symantec won three big piracy cases in the US last year. It obtained a $10m judgment against CD Micro and its CEO Vince in September 2003; unspecified damages against eCommerce in October; and a $3m award against Maryland Internet Marketing and $300,000 in damages personally from MIM's CEO, George Moore, in December 2003. ®

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