Microsoft sues Cape Coral computer repair shop over pirated software

A new lawsuit claims Cape Coral computer repair company, Linked PC, installed pirated Microsoft software onto customers’ computers.

“I pay bills for one thing, I send a lot of emails, I do research through google, I do a lot on my computer,” said Lynn Miller of North Fort Myers.

Which is why Lynn Miller takes her computer to someone she trusts, “Geek squad or Apple … they have name recognition and I’ve dealt with Apple for a long time, so I trust them implicitly.”

Although Miller does not trust local repair companies, she was shocked to hear a Cape Coral shop was hit with a lawsuit from Microsoft over copyright infringement.

The company claims several Linked PC customers were unknowingly sold pirated software.

Shawn Book, Owner of Area 51 PC says it’s not obvious, “Some of the modern piracy it’s almost dead on, it looks identical.”

WINK News tried to track down Linked PC business owners Julio and Andres Saavedra, but the business is no longer at its registered address.

Nearby businesses and the landlord say they moved out months ago for a bigger location in North Fort Myers. But when we called the business’ phone number…We got this message:

Our office is currently closed. We will return to the office on May 7th.

If you feel you may be a victim, there’s an easy way to verify whether your software is licensed.

“Look for a sticker with the branded product key on the box,” Book said.

Pirated software can report your activity to outside sources, and in more extreme cases poses security risks.

Microsoft said in a statement:

We’re committed to protecting our customers when we see others working to unlawfully deceive them. When people buy a computer and are told it has genuine Microsoft software, they expect it to work properly and have up-to-date protection from hacking and malware. Counterfeit software exposes customers to risk and undermines legitimate businesses that are playing by the rules.

Microsoft has filed a civil complaint to a federal court. According to court documents, both parties are trying to reach a settlement. The first hearing is scheduled for May 22.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
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