Symantec acquires Hilgraeve patent

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 19, 2003

Symantec pays $62.5m for a software patent, considers litigation against infringing competitors.

Symantec announced yesterday it had paid $62.5m for the infamous US Patent No. 5,319,776, bane of major players in the anti-virus industry for the last six years.

In 1997, Hilgraeve (the owner of the patent) sued both Symantec and McAfee (now NAI) for infringement. According to the Dow Jones, it is 'the changing nature of computer security threats, and of competition in the Internet-security software arena' that has persuaded Symantec to buy the patent.

Most of the big players in the anti-virus industry have run into the patent at some point - NAI, Trend and IBM settled with Hilgraeve, while a number of other companies including Computer Associates, Aladdin Knowledge Systems and Clearswift are still in litigation. Symantec said they were reviewing which of their competitors are infringing the patent, and were considering litigation of their own.

The patent describes hardware and software implementations of scanning data intransit between two 'mediums', such as 'between two computer[s] communicating over a telecommunications link or network'.

Posted on 19 August 2003 by Virus Bulletin

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