Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer lashed out against pirates last month when he told employees in Beijing that revenue in China this year would amount to 5 percent of the company’s revenue in the United States — even though sales in the two countries are about the same.

Piracy is the bane of all software firms, most of which lack Microsoft’s muscle. For instance, AWR Corp., a small software firm in El Segundo, Calif., won a partial summary judgment on June 13 in a breach-of-contract and copyright infringement case against Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp., whose employees allegedly accessed its software illegally.

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