Microsoft has obtained a High Court injunction preventing a Dublin store from selling computers with allegedly illegal pre-installed software programmes.
Duanyi Gao and Qiliang Zheng, trading as Hua Wei Computer Systems, of Capel Street, Dublin, are prohibited from selling, renting or loaning any Microsoft computer programmes, pending further proceedings.
The injunction was granted to Microsoft Corporation by Mr Justice Roderick Murphy on an ex-parte -- one side only represented -- basis.
A solicitor for Microsoft claimed software publishing and distribution industries had lost about $13bn (€9bn) in 2008 because of piracy in Western Europe.
Kieran O'Connor said, in an affidavit, that piracy cost the industry more than $52bn (€36bn) worldwide in 2008.
In Ireland alone, 34pc of all software in use in 2008 was estimated to be illegal and software piracy, he said.
He added that it had reached serious proportions in this country and was causing very serious concern to Microsoft, who were suffering severe financial loss.
A number of computer hardware retailers in Ireland have been selling computer systems with computer software pre loaded without the licence or authorisation of Microsoft and at little or no extra charge to the customer -- known as hard disk loading.
Those involved were, in effect, stealing Microsoft property, said Mr O'Connor.