Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday that it won an almost US$4 million verdict against a California man for trademark infringement, false advertising and “cybersquatting” stemming from an unsolicited commercial (spam) e-mail campaign to distribute a desktop toolbar program on recipients’ Windows desktops.
Daniel Khoshnood of Canoga Park, Calif., was ordered to pay $3.95 million after the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found in favor of Microsoft in the civil case, which Microsoft filed in June 2003, after receiving a flood of spam on its MSN and MSN Hotmail e-mail services from Khoshnood. The e-mail messages claimed to offer a toolbar that, once installed, would automatically update recipients’ Windows systems with security patches, Microsoft said in a statement.
Microsoft won a summary judgement against Khoshnood and his companies, Pointcom Inc. and Joshuathan Investments, in January. That judgement ordered Khoshnood to stop using Microsoft’s trademarks and name, refrain from spamming, and pay damages to and legal fees for the Redmond, Washington software company, according to a court document.
In an e-mail statement, Microsoft hailed the judgement as another victory in its anti-spam initiative, begun in 2003. “Targeted enforcement activity is beginning to have a tangible, negative financial impact on spammers and is changing the economics of spam,” the company said.
According to Microsoft, the company has filed 60 lawsuits in the U.S. against spammers in the U.S. and other countries. Of those cases, Microsoft so far has settled four, won six by default, had one summary judgement, and had one case dismissed.
The company has been awarded $54 million in judgements from spammers, five of whom were among the top 10 known spammers, Microsoft said.