08 Jun June 30 is deadline to claim up to $223.9M in Microsoft settlement
Milwaukee, Wis. – The June 30 deadline is approaching for Wisconsin consumers and businesses to claim up to $223.9 million in benefits from a class action settlement with Microsoft Corp., according to attorneys lawyers involved in the court-approved settlement.
The class-action lawsuit alleged that Microsoft violated Wisconsin’s antitrust and unfair competition laws.
The settlement includes Wisconsin consumers, businesses, and governmental entities that acquired Microsoft software from December 7, 1993 through April 30, 2003, for use in Wisconsin.
To qualify for vouchers, those included must fill out and submit a claim form available at http://www.microsoftwisuit.com/ or by calling the Court’s settlement administrator at 1-800-598-3050. Claims for five or fewer licenses and up to $100 may be submitted with no need to provide any additional documents or proof about software purchases.
Under the terms of the settlement, which was approved April 6, Microsoft denies that it did anything wrong and the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication that any law was violated.
The Court did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit. Microsoft will distribute up to $223,896,000 in vouchers that eligible class members can redeem regarding their purchases of computers, peripheral computer hardware, and computer software made by any manufacturer.
The vouchers are worth the following:
• $23 each for Microsoft’s “Office” productivity suite software and its “Excel” spreadsheet software.
• $15 each for Microsoft’s “Windows” and “MS-DOS” operating system software.
• $10 each for Microsoft’s “Word” word processing software (including “Home Essentials” and “Works Suite”).
If the total value of vouchers issued to Class members is less than $223,896,000, Microsoft will distribute technology vouchers worth one-half of the remaining amount to qualified public, tribal, and Bureau of Indian Affairs elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools in Wisconsin, according to Rich Wallis, associate general counsel for Microsoft.
Ben Barnow, one of the attorneys for the Class, characterized the settlement as one that benefits the Class both directly with the vouchers and indirectly with the aid to needy schools.
The vouchers can be used up to four years after they are distributed. With certain limitations, the vouchers can be transferred, sold, or given away as a personal gift or charitable donation.
If vouchers are unclaimed, 50 percent of the unclaimed amount goes to the provision for needy schools. If the vouchers are claimed, but not used, 100 percent goes to the needy schools.
For larger claims or for software that was not acquired through a volume license program (such as “Open,” “Select,” or “Enterprise” licenses), claimants will need to provide additional information about software purchases. Those who acquired software through a volume license program will need to complete a Volume License Claim Form. The claim forms contain detailed instructions about filling them out.
• Supreme Court limits foreign reach of U.S. patents
• James Carlini: H-1B jobs: Where is the shortage of skilled workers?
• Microsoft to distribute $224M as part of settlement
• Microsoft rewards Berbee for project management expertise
• Gates displays software’s future to UW-Madison students