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The oldest trick in the book! But a bit surprising to see Microsoft going after Windows 7 pirates with this intensity, at this stage of the lifecycle of the operating system.

And more so, with Windows 10 on the horizon, with reportedly a new protection scheme.

Regardless, it is mandatory on a company to protect its copyrights, trademarks and licenses. And Microsoft continues its fight against those using its software without a valid license. This week, the software titan has filed a lawsuit at a court district in Seattle.

Redmond claims that a Verizon customer activated hundreds of copies that are very likely to be pirated.

As reported here, Microsoft believes that some of these keys may have been stolen from the company’s supply chain. Hundreds in fact were used by a Verizon IP address, which tried to activate pirated software.

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Microsoft has dedicated systems that analyze the IP addresses of the computers that try to activate software, and this way the company can filter out users that try to pirate copies of Windows or Office:

“As part of its cyberforensic methods, Microsoft analyzes product key activation data voluntarily provided by users when they activate Microsoft software, including the IP address from which a given product key is activated.”

Redmond did not specify how its systems detect unusual activity whenever someone tries to activate pirated software, for obvious reasons.

The lawsuit document (PDF file) explains the remaining details, though.

In this case, Verizon will be forced to disclose the details of its customer, and if caught, the pirate is expected to be brought to court in the next few weeks or months, and Microsoft will then probably seek some damages.

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