Microsoft Shuts Down Spammer

Microsoft has won an almost $4 million verdict against a California man for trademark infringement, false advertising, and "cybersquatting" stemming from a spam campaign to distribute a desktop toolbar program on recipients' Windows desktops.

Daniel Khoshnood of Canoga Park, California, 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. Microsoft filed the civil charges in June 2003, after receiving a flood of spam on its MSN and 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 says in a statement.

Microsoft filed the suit before passage of the Federal CAN-SPAM Act, which has already drawn several prosecutions.

Case History

Microsoft won a summary judgment against Khoshnood and his companies, Pointcom and Joshuathan Investments, in January. That judgment ordered Khoshnood to stop using Microsoft's trademarks and name, refrain from spamming, and pay damages and legal fees, according to a court document.

In an e-mail statement, Microsoft hails the judgment as another victory in its antispam 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 United States against spammers in the United States and other countries. Of those cases, Microsoft so far has settled four, won six by default, had one summary judgment, and had one case dismissed.

The company has been awarded $54 million in judgments from spammers, five of whom were among the top ten known spammers, Microsoft says.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon