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Microsoft Corporation vs Maxicorp, Inc.

438 SCRA 224

FACTS: In 1996, Dominador Samiano, Jr., an agent of the National


Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a surveillance against Maxicorp,
Inc. He observed that Microsoft Softwares (Windows Operating Systems)
were being produced and packaged within the premises of Maxicorp.
Samiano, together with a civilian witness (John Benedict Sacriz) then
bought a computer unit from Maxicorp. The unit was pre-installed with a
pirated copy of Windows. For their purchase, they were issued a receipt,
however, the receipt was in the name of a certain Joel Diaz.
Subsequently, Samiano applied for a search warrant before the RTC. He
brought with him Sacriz as witness. He also brought the computer unit
they bought as evidence as well as the receipt. He even added an
additional witness (Felixberto Pante), a computer technician, who showed
the judge that the software in the computer unit bought by Samiano from
Maxicorp was pirated. The RTC judge, convinced that there is a probable
cause for a case of copyright infringement and unfair competition
committed by Maxicorp, issued the corresponding warrant. Maxicorp
assailed the legality of the warrant before the Court of Appeals. The Court
of Appeals ruled in favor of Maxicorp and in its decision it highlighted the
fact that the receipt issued was not in Samianos or Sacriz name hence
the proceeding in the trial court was infirm from the onset.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct.

HELD: No. The testimonies of the two witnesses, coupled with the object
and documentary evidence they presented, are sufficient to establish the
existence of probable cause. From what they have witnessed, there is
reason to believe that Maxicorp engaged in copyright infringement and
unfair competition to the prejudice of Microsoft. Both NBI Agent Samiano
and Sacriz were clear and insistent that the counterfeit software were not
only displayed and sold within Maxicorps premises, they were also
produced, packaged and in some cases, installed there.

The fact that the receipt issued was not in Samianos name nor was it in
Sacriz name does not render the issuance of the warrant void. No law or
rule states that probable cause requires a specific kind of evidence. No
formula or fixed rule for its determination exists. Probable cause is
determined in the light of conditions obtaining in a given situation.Thus, it
was improper for the Court of Appeals to reverse the RTCs findings
simply because the sales receipt evidencing NBI Agent Samianos
purchase of counterfeit goods is not in his name.