Earlier this week, opposing parties Microsoft Corporation and Solution Hat LLC, doing business as ThinkGlobal, and its principal (together, Solution Hat) agreed to settle all claims in the fraud action. In February, Microsoft filed suit, alleging that Solution Hat fleeced customers through a fake tech support scheme. Microsoft said it received more than 100 complaints in connection with the scheme.
The Southern District of Indiana lawsuit claimed that Solution Hat conned Microsoft users into purchasing superfluous security services to protect against claimed spyware and malware threats. Not only did the defendants employ deceptive techniques, they also allegedly used Microsoft’s well-known windows logo, among other trade dress, to convince users of the scheme’s authenticity.
After receiving a pop-up warning message or other solicitation, Microsoft users would be prompted to “call Microsoft” at a toll fake free number. When connected by phone, an agent, pretending to act on behalf of Microsoft, would advise customers that they need to purchase security products, and in the case of Microsoft’s investigator, advised that they would need $999 in solutions.
In July, the parties reached an accord. This week, they agreed to a permanent injunction, which pending court approval, will resolve the suit in its entirety.
Under the terms of the permanent injunction, the defendants agreed not to use any trademarks associated with Microsoft, not to use any “false designation of origin” or false or misleading description likely to cause the public to believe that advertisements or pop-ups have been authorized by Microsoft, or engage in activities which would cause trademark dilution.