A French laptop buyer has won a refund from Lenovo after a four-year legal battle over the cost of a Windows license he didn't want. The judgment could open the way for PC buyers elsewhere in Europe to obtain refunds for bundled software they don't want, French campaign group No More Racketware said Monday.
The judgment was overturned by the Court of Cassation two years later on appeal, and sent back to the court in Aix en Provence for retrial, on the grounds that the lower court had not considered whether the case was covered by the provisions of the 2005 European Union directive on unfair commercial practices.
After reconsidering the case, on Jan. 9, Judge Jean-Marie Dubouloz ordered Lenovo to pay Petrus legal costs of
The campaign group No More Racketware welcomed the ruling, saying it symbolized the crumbling of the bundling of hardware and software in France. But more significantly, the group said, the ruling was founded on a European directive regulating unfair commercial practices, opening up the possibility that it could set a legal precedent in other E.U. countries too.
No More Racketware is not the only group campaigning against illegal software bundling: Consumer group UFC-Que Choisir has been fighting similar actions for years. A case pitting Que Choisir against Hewlett-Packard and retailer Darty in 2008 returned to the courts last year with a win, on appeal, for Que Choisir.
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.