As many readers may know, viruses and digital scams have become relatively common. However, according to a recent article, Microsoft is taking an proactive approach to what has become a well-known and successful online scam that it suggests is a direct abuse of the company’s trademark. The computer company has recently filed a lawsuit in California.

The scam, allegedly perpetuated by Omnitech Support, has employees pretend to work for Microsoft or a Microsoft partner when talking to customers. They inform customers that they have a virus or other malware that can only be removed by their certified technicians, and they convince the customer to give them direct control over the computer using remote software. Once the scammers have access to the computer, they can gain a great deal of personal information, and they install other malware programs that will continue to steal customer information and often result in continued poor computer performance.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit is responding to this scam by citing Omnitech Support and its parent company, Customer Focus Services, for infringement and deceptive business practices. The lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California. Microsoft claims that the defendants have misused Microsoft’s name in connection with attempts to sell false tech support services.

Violations of copyright and trademarks can cause damage to the owner of such intellectual properties. When a company discovers that another group is wrongfully using their name or copyrighted products, that business may have the right to file a suit against them. Due to the complicated nature of proving such allegations in court, an attorney may be helpful in organizing and presenting an effective case.

Source: CNET, “Microsoft combats tech support scammers with lawsuit“, Lance Whitney, December 19, 2014