Microsoft is going to war against what it described as a software pirate after the company was accused of extortion when it tried to resolve the issue amicably.

Hanna Instruments, a Rhode Island-based company selling analytical solutions, is being accused of using unlicensed keys for Microsoft products, including the Microsoft Office productivity suite.

The software giant reached out to them last year, asking for a little over $72,000 in damages. Otherwise, going to court would have produced damages up to nearly $5 million, Microsoft warned at that time.

But Hanna wasn’t impressed, and instead of paying Microsoft the money, it accused the software giant of extortion, as it believed the accusations were without merit.

“BSA, Microsoft, and their counsel have, without supplying one scintilla of evidence, issued a series of letters for the sole purpose of extorting inflated monetary damages,” the company told the court according to a report from

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