Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 4, 2013, 1:30pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) -- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says the world's largest software maker, Microsoft, recently utilized the state's new unfair competition law to resolve a dispute over software licensing issues.

The Attorney General's Office helped pass the law aimed at protecting both IP and fair competition in Washington -- the first of its kind in the country.

Last year, the office also exchanged several letters with Embraer, the Brazilian company at the center of the dispute, in an effort to resolve the matter before taking more formal steps.

Embraer, the world's fourth largest aircraft manufacturer, produces commercial, military and executive aircraft and provides other aeronautical services.

"I'm pleased to learn the dispute relating to the use of Microsoft software is resolved and that Embraer is now in full compliance with the law," Ferguson said in a statement Wednesday.

"Our office is committed to protecting Washington businesses and consumers and ensuring that powerful interests that don't play by the rules are held accountable. Any company wishing to do business in our state must compete fairly."

Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Wash.

Ferguson's office said foreign manufacturers are increasingly engaging in IT theft and software piracy to unfairly compete against U.S. manufacturers, according to the Business Software Alliance, or BSA.

The alliance estimates the total commercial value of IT theft at $63.4 billion.

"When competitors use stolen software, it hurts the ability of law-abiding businesses that pay fair value for their software to compete," the attorney general said.

"This theft also robs the technology sector -- one of the key drivers of economic growth in our country -- of its work."

According to the BSA, if the U.S. can reduce piracy by just 10 percent in two years, it would add $52 billion in Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, $8 billion in U.S. tax revenue and 25,431 new jobs across the U.S.

In 2011, Washington became the first state in the nation to enact a Stolen or Misappropriated Information Technology Law, making it unlawful to offer for sale in Washington a product manufactured using stolen or misappropriated technology.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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