A consumer in Zhengzhou has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft (MSFT) because of "coercive" clauses in the software company's user agreements.

Guo Li said he bought Microsoft's Windows XP operating system in July. When he was going to install the software on his computer, he found that he must first agree to the clauses on Microsoft's User Approval Protocol and User Approval Agreement Appendix, but he was not notified of these requirements when buying the software. After reading the protocols, he found that many clauses appeared unfair.

Guo believes that Microsoft should have consumers read the software agreement before they decide whether to buy the product. He also says that the "export limit" in the agreement states that consumers must abide by any international and domestic laws in using the software, including regulations of the American Export Management Bureau. He says that this is ambiguous to consumers because they have no idea what limits will be imposed on the software.

Guo has listed software dealer Henan Federal Software Technology Development Company, Microsoft China and Microsoft as defendants, requesting them to eliminate the agreement and make an apology to the media.

Beijing No. 1 Secondary People's Court has accepted the case, which is expected to be heard in December 2006.


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