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New Kent State Student sued.
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21-year-old wants company to apologize for filing lawsuit

By Phil Trexler

Beacon Journal staff writer

David vs. Goliath?

Sort of. It's actually software giant Microsoft Corp. vs. local college kid David Zamos. And the battlefield is in a federal courtroom in Akron.

And what did Zamos, a Kent State University student, do to awaken the corporate king?

He sold two software packages on eBay for a little more than $200.

In response, Microsoft has thrown four lawyers at the 21-year-old chemistry major, filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court and claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Zamos responded in kind, acting as his own lawyer and loading his slingshot with a countersuit against the behemoth. It appears his adversary is down on one knee.

This week, a Microsoft spokeswoman said the company is ready to drop its suit and walk away, but it cannot because Zamos won't drop his. The student said a simple apology from Microsoft would have settled the matter a month ago, but that apparently isn't happening.

Now, Zamos said he wants more than an apology for his troubles. He wants at least $40 for all the court documents he fashioned and copied in fighting the suit, plus compensation for the 120 hours he spent researching his defense.

If no settlement is reached, Zamos said he is ready to defend himself in court. A case management meetingis scheduled for later this month.


No refund on software

The battle began in September when Zamos, then a student at the University of Akron, bought Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Office software from the university computer store. He spent about $50 on the two, a fraction of the retail cost because Microsoft offers huge discounts to college students.

A week or so later, he said, he tried to return the unopened package, seeking a refund after learning that installing the software was more than he bargained for. The store said his purchase was final.

Zamos, who earned about $3,500 last year working in UA's chemistry department, then listed the Office software on eBay. It sold for $112.

Before he could auction off the XP Pro, eBay closed down the auction when Microsoft objected and raised concerns about trademark and copyright infringements.

E-mails and letters were exchanged among Zamos, eBay and Microsoft, which also refused to refund Zamos' money.

Eventually, the XP Pro was listed on the Internet auction site and sold for $91.

Microsoft's lawsuit

Microsoft then filed its 18-page lawsuit against Zamos in U.S. District Court in Akron.

Microsoft, which reported $38 billion in sales in the past year, alleges that Zamos' eBay sales amount to unfair competition.

In the company's suit, its lawyers accuse Zamos of copyright infringement for the eBay sales and contend the saleshave ``resulted in losses to Microsoft and an illicit gain of profit'' to Zamos.

Further, the corporate lawyers said, ``Microsoft has suffered... substantial and irreparable damage to its business reputation and good will, as well as losses in an amount not yet ascertained.''

The suit said the corporation is entitled to ``receive the profits made by (Zamos) from his wrongful acts.''

Finally, the suit asks for an order freezing Zamos' assets and an order forcing him to pay court costs and the fees of the four lawyers.

``All this for $50 in software,'' Zamos said last week.


Eine Leute. Eine Welt. Ein F\ufffdhrer.
God Bless America.
New Viva Zamos!
New How true!
"Microsoft has suffered... substantial and irreparable damage to its business reputation and good will"

And what are we doing when the two most powerful nations on earth -- America and Israel -- stomp on the elementary rights of human beings?

-- letter to the editor from W. Ostermeier, Liechtenstein

     Kent State Student sued. - (mmoffitt) - (2)
         Viva Zamos! -NT - (Another Scott) - (1)
             How true! - (Arkadiy)

It's like dingos mating with elephants: messy loud with lots of snapping and position changes.
35 ms