Finjan sues McAfee, Symantec over patents

Security companies Webroot Software, Websense, and Sophos are also targeted in the suit, which claims they are violating two patents.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

Former security company Finjan has filed a lawsuit against five companies--McAfee, Symantec, Webroot Software, Websense, and Sophos--claiming they are in violation of its patents.

Finjan is asking for financial damages and an injunction to stop the five security companies from selling software allegedly tied to the patents.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, targets two patents.

The first, Patent No. 6,092,194, is for a "system and method for protecting a computer and a network from hostile downloadables" and covers both an interface and a security policy to determine if a downloaded file is safe or suspicious.

The second, Patent No. 6,480,962, is for a "system and method for protecting a client during runtime from hostile downloadables" and defines actions from downloadable files that are considered suspicious.

The first patent played a role in a 2008 jury verdict against Security Computing (now owned by McAfee) in which Finjan was eventually awarded $13.8 million in damages.

Formerly a provider of security products, Finjan was bought out by M86 late last year but hung onto its patent portfolio. In 2005, Microsoft licensed Finjan's security patents, a move that led Finjan at the time to believe it would strike similar deals with other companies.

Here is the first page of the filing via Scribd.com:

Finjan v. McAfee et. al.