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Microsoft officials announce that lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles charging eight area companies with copyright and trademark infringement and alleged distribution of counterfeit products. The lawsuits were the culmination of a three-month sweep of 40 Los Angeles-area businesses, though most of the companies were investigated as a result of tips to the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline. Under a new federal law passed in 1996, Microsoft is seeking up to $1 million in damages for each trademark counterfeited.