Barracuda battles Trend Micro patent claims

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 29, 2008

Trend demands licensing for gateway virus scanning idea.

Barracuda Networks has announced it is fighting a legal battle against Trend Micro, who has claimed US patent rights to the concept of scanning traffic passing through network proxies for malware.

A licensing issue has been running between the two firms since late 2006, when Trend lawyers contacted Barracuda requesting a licensing deal. Barracuda's use of open-source anti-virus scanner ClamAV in its gateway products was seen as an infringement of a patent on the idea, held by Trend since 1995 and apparently covering many forms of malware scanning on files passing through firewalls, mail servers and other gateway systems.

Barracuda argues that Trend was not the first to think of the idea, and also that as it is not importing any technology into the US the patent restrictions are invalid anyway. In a strongly worded press release and a section of the company's website dedicated to fighting the patent claim, Barracuda has announced its decision to fight the claims, and issued a public request for information on similar products in existence prior to the patent's filing in 1995, to support its 'prior art' argument.

Barracuda's press release is here and more detailed legal arguments here. More commentary from a CNet blogger is here and coverage on LinuxWorld is here.

Posted on 29 January 2008 by Virus Bulletin



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