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Microsoft Loses China Appeal on Font Copyright, Zhongyi Says

Microsoft Corp. lost an appeal of a three-year-old Beijing court ruling that it exceeded the scope of a licensing agreement for Chinese fonts, according to rights holder Zhongyi Electronic Ltd.

The Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld a November 2009 judgment that Microsoft infringed Zhongyi’s rights for Chinese character fonts, the Chinese company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “We respect the court’s decision but continue to believe our fonts licensing agreement with Zhongyi should have granted us perpetual rights to the fonts at issue,” Microsoft said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, used the Chinese fonts “without authorization” in Windows 98, 2000, 2003, and XP Chinese editions as well as worldwide sales of multilanguage versions of Windows products, Zhongyi said.

“This ruling will not impact Microsoft customers in China as it pertains to older versions of Microsoft products that are no longer available for purchase,” the Redmond, Washington-based company said in the statement.

Calls to Zhongyi’s headquarters in Beijing weren’t immediately answered after business hours yesterday

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