Microsoft Sues Testing Materials Vendor
Microsoft has filed a federal lawsuit against testing materials vendor TestKing, alleging that the company is illegally selling the actual answers to its certification exams.
- By Stuart J. Johnston
- August 17, 2006
Microsoft has filed a federal lawsuit against testing materials vendor TestKing,
alleging that the company is illegally selling the actual answers to its certification
The suit, filed last week in Federal District Court in Seattle, claims that
the "defendants have provided and are providing, without license or permission
from Microsoft, the original copyrighted exam content from Microsoft Certification
Microsoft has always taken its certification programs seriously because it
helps assure continued sales and proper support of its products. Apparently,
according to the suit, TestKing is helping candidates cheat -- at Microsoft's
"We guarantee that by using our Microsoft Exams training materials you
will be prepared for your upcoming Microsoft Exam, and will pass on your first
attempt," say claims on TestKing's site.
TestKing also operates other sites through which the company sells the infringing
testing materials, according to the complaint. In fact, Web searches found several
other, apparently related sites also selling similar test preparation materials.
The lawsuit claims multiple counts of copyright infringement and asks for a
permanent injunction to stop TestKing from continuing to sell or distribute
the materials. It also seeks damages. Additionally, Microsoft's attorneys
asked the court to turn the Internet domain TestKing.com over to them.
TestKing's Web site lists a mailing address for a company named Certification
Trendz Limited in the United Kingdom but no phone number, and the site does
not identify the company's executives or management. Due to the inability to
initially identify who runs the company, Microsoft issued what is called a "John
Doe" lawsuit, with the defendants to be identified later.
On its site, TestKing claims to sell test training materials for a wide variety
of different technology companies' certifications in addition to Microsoft's.
Materials are also offered for products from Adobe, Apple, Checkpoint, Cisco,
Citrix, Dell, IBM, HP, Symantec, Sun and Oracle. TestKing also offers preparation
materials for some non-vendor certifications such as Certified Information Systems
Security Professional and CompTIA A+.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which first reported the suit, has posted Microsoft's
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.