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Microsoft Wins $4M E-Mail Judgment

Microsoft won a $4 million judgment against a California man it accused of bombarding Hotmail and MSN e-mail users with unsolicited e-mail.

Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. Central District Court of California ruled July 7 that Daniel Khashnood and his company, Pointcom Inc., violated trademark law and fraud statutes by sending millions of unsolicited e-mails that impersonated Microsoft service messages.

Khashnood registered domain names like hottmail.com and wwwwindows.com. Pointcom used unsolicited e-mail to get users to download a toolbar that would collect user information to be sold later to advertisers.

Microsoft has litigated against Khashnood since 1997 for implying he is associated with Microsoft. This case was filed in June 2003, prior to the passage of the federal CAN-SPAM Act. The company announced the verdict July 15.

The ruling orders the defendant to pay $3.9 million in damages and attorney’s fees. It also orders Khashnood to refrain from infringing on Microsoft’s trademarks and forfeit ownership of domain names like windowsupdatenow.com and microsoftc.com.

The ruling is the latest in a string of spam victories for Microsoft. It boasts winning $54 million in judgments in the 60 cases it has filed. Last month, it filed eight suits under CAN-SPAM against companies and individuals Microsoft alleges are responsible for sending hundreds of millions of unsolicited commercial e-mails to Hotmail and MSN e-mail users.

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