Chinese information technology company Zhongyi Electronic Ltd. said on Friday it is suing software giant Microsoft, claiming it stole its Chinese character technology, a charge Microsoft disputes.

Zhongyi brought the claim before Beijing's Intermediate People's Court, accusing Microsoft for intellectual property rights violations, Chinese Xinhua news agency reported. The technology in question called Zhengma, converts Roman characters to Chinese characters when using a Western keyboard.

Microsoft hasn't paid us for 10 years, since they paid for using Zhengma in Windows 95 in 1998, Xinhua cited Lan Dekang, the general manager of Zhongyi, as saying.

Microsoft denied the allegations, saying it had the right to use Zhongyi's product and fonts after the two parties entered a license agreement under the supervision of Chinese government agencies.

We entered into these agreements under the supervision and guidance of the Chinese government agencies, it said in a statement emailed to Dow Jones Newswires.

Microsoft respects intellectual property rights. We use third party IPs only when we have a legitimate right to do so, it said.

Zhongyi has not yet announced a litigation target because it cannot confirm how many sets of Windows operating systems are in use, Xinhua reported.