Microsoft Corp.on Tuesday announced 20 lawsuits against resellers allegedly engaged in the distribution of infringing software and software components.

The lawsuits, filed against 20 defendants throughout the United States, are against companies that allegedly distributed counterfeit software or software components or participated in hard-disk loading, Microsoft said.

Hard-disk loading is the installation of unlicensed software on computers that are then sold to unsuspecting businesses or consumers.Lawsuits were filed against companies in nine states: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Texas.