LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – In the first ever legally enforceable judgment by a state against a foreign company, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has secured a $100,000 settlement with India-based Pratibha Syntex LTD over unfair competitive advantage allegations.
Pratibha Syntex allegedly gained an unfair competitive advantage over American companies by using pirated software to produce clothing imported to California. In 2013, Harris sued Pratibha Syntex because it did not pay licensing fees on any business-related software, including Adobe and Microsoft products. This, according to Harris, gave the company a significant cost advantage considering the low-margin business of apparel.
“Pratibha Syntex engaged in illegal business practices that placed California garment companies at a disadvantage, while hurting American software companies’ ability to develop new and innovative products,” Harris said. “Businesses around the globe should be on notice that the state of California will hold them accountable for stealing intellectual property to unfairly undercut their competition.”
Under the settlement agreement, Pratibha Syntex will pay $100,000 in restitution. Additionally, Pratibha Syntex is prohibited from using unlicensed software.
California’s apparel industry employed close to 100,000 people in 2012-2013 but has slowly lost jobs over the years to countries where piracy rates are as high as 80 percent.
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California Attorney General's Office