Microsoft last week asked a federal court to let it serve a subpoena on Verizon to force the Internet provider to identify those behind a two-year scheme that allegedly activated hundreds of copies of Windows 7 illegally.

According to documents filed with a U.S. District Court in Seattle last week, the IP address was the source of the Windows 7 product activations. But unless Verizon hands over the subscriber name or names for that address, Microsoft will not be able to find the alleged criminals.

“Microsoft seeks leave to serve a Rule 45 subpoena on Verizon Online to obtain subscriber information associated with the infringing IP address at the time of the alleged acts of infringement”, Microsoft said. The address is currently identified with Verizon FIOS, the Internet provider’s broadband service.

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