Trend vs. ClamAV patent row hots up

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Feb 13, 2008

Free software advocates call for boycott of Trend.

With legal proceedings ongoing between Trend Micro and gateway appliance specialist Barracuda Networks, concerning Barracuda's implementation of the free, open-source AV software ClamAV and Trend's claims to patents on the use of anti-virus scanners to check email, a Dutch organisation promoting free and open-source software has called for a boycott of Trend's products.

The row went public last month when Barracuda announced plans to fight Trend's assertion of patent rights, and called on the community for assistance in asserting that Trend's patent was not an original idea. General outcry ensued, with some supporters of Trend's action arguing the importance of patent laws to protect innovation and enterprise, while many others found the patent improbable and raised fears of a threat to a wide range of open-source security products.

Now Dutch open-source advocacy group has thrown its hat into the ring, calling on believers in the open-source ethos to shun Trend products in a bid to force the company to back down in what they call an 'aggressive use of litigation', describing the patent system as 'fundamentally broken'.

The announcement is on the group's website here. More analysis and comment on the ongoing row is at here and in a blog entry from Mary Landesman at here. Counterarguments are in a CNET blog piece here.

Posted on 13 February 2008 by Virus Bulletin



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