SC grants Microsoft leave to appeal in piracy case against software retailer

Monday, 7 November 2011 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S. S. Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court granted leave to appeal with the petition filed by the Microsoft Corporation of USA against the order of the Commercial High Court of Colombo.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Justices P. A. Ratnayake and Chandra Ekanayake fixed the matter for hearing on March 14 next year.

The High Court in its order had refused to issue the Interim Injunction the Microsoft had sought preventing the proprietor of Media Centre (now Shad’s Digital) Colombo 4 from selling purported unlicensed, pirated copies of Microsoft software in the assembled computers sold by it.

Sanjeeva Jayawardena with Nilshantha Sirimanna instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the Plaintiff-Petitioner Microsoft.

The High Court dismissed the petitioner’s application for interim injunctions on August 26.  

These questions of law on which leave to appeal was granted by the Supreme Court included the legal questions whether  an unduly  rigorous evidentiary burden should be imposed on the plaintiff at the stage of an interim injunction inquiry, whether the High Court had failed  to appreciate  that the  physical examination of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of the computer carrying the pirated software, that had been produced in Court, would have been sufficient to determine whether the software was duly licensed/ authentic and whether the court had failed to consider the contents of the plaint regarding allegations of piracy against the defendant and the PC examination report filed by the relevant Information Technology Specialist. The Supreme Court also directed the entire case record of the commercial high court to be transferred to the Supreme Court registry along with the production in question, which is the central processing unit carrying the pirated software.