Software giant Microsoft has suffered at the hands of a 'very substantial clandestine' counterfeiting operation in Hong Kong, according to a High Court writ. Washington-based Microsoft Corporation yesterday made public the civil lawsuit in Hong Kong for unspecified damages. Named as defendants were seven individuals, six SAR companies and a company organised under the laws of Belize in Central America. Lawyers for Microsoft allege there was a conspiracy among the defendants as early as mid-1996 to cause loss to the company by unlawful means by manufacturing and selling bogus Microsoft products. 'The operation has produced many millions of dollars worth of counterfeit products and has materially enriched the defendants at the expense of the plaintiff,' the 20-page writ said. The defendants were accused of copyright and trademark infringement, the export of instruments of deception, and conspiracy to undertake infringements of the plaintiff's intellectual property rights 'each on a very large scale'. Microsoft alleged that large numbers of counterfeit disks of its Windows and Office series had been distributed around the world, damaging its goodwill and reputation. A 'clandestine' operation - the production facility - was set up at a flat at the Kwun Tong Industrial Centre in Kwun Tong Road, according to the writ. It said Phoenix Industries, the Central American company, operated a disk-copying facility in the Belize commercial-free zone. Microsoft is seeking an injunction, an order for delivery of all infringing copies and equipment, an inquiry into damages for infringement, and a declaration that proceeds of the counterfeiting be held in trust.