is on the war path
again, alleging that yet another competitor is violating its antivirus software patent.
is seeking to stop British company
Integralis and its U.S. subsidiary from
allegedly infringing on its patent for computer
virus detection technology that carries data over the Internet and by email.
Trend Micro's claims against Integralis were filed in response
to a lawsuit initiated by Integralis in June seeking judicial
protection after it was notified by Trend Micro that its products
infringe the Trend Micro patent.
Integralis's suit charges unfair business practices because it
alleges that Trend Micro approached Integralis's business partners and
suggested that they might be infringing on Trend Micro's patent just by using
the competitors products.
Trend Micro response alleges that Integralis's MimeSweeper and
WebSweeper violate its patent, and has asked the court to stop
Integralis from selling those products to customers
in the United States. The lawsuit also asks the court for damages for willful infringement.
Victor Woodward, president of Integralis, said that the company's antivirus product MimeSweeper was
shipping in Europe before Trend Micro even applied for the patent. "The problem is that most
people [in Europe] don't patent software. Other companies have been doing
this sort of [antivirus] work, but have not patented it. European
companies copyright, but don't patent, and that presents a lot of
international issues," he said.
This is not Trend Micro's first patent action. In May, the company sued its two largest competitors, antivirus leaders McAfee (MCAF) and Symantec (SYMC), for alleged patent infringement of its computer virus
Last week, Symantec filed an answer to Trend Micro's complaint.
"Our answer is that we deny infringing the patent?It is a very broad
patent," said Rebecca Ranninger, director of legal affairs for Symantec. She added that Trend Micro's patent is so broad that it is invalid.
Ranninger said that virus protection over the Internet is not like copying someone's software, rather, "it is like having patent on driving a car."
McAfee too denied that it had infringed on any patents.
Prabhat Goyal, CFO of McAfee, today said that McAfee has asked the court to deny the patent and rule it invalid. "I see this as a marketing ploy," he said. "This is a two-page lawsuit with a four-page press release."
He added that since
Trend was granted a patent in April they have they have sued competitors in an effort to bring their name into the forefront.
The next step in the Symantec and McAfee cases is what is called the discovery process, where the two sides
exchange documents and explore the parameters of both the patent itself and
the products in question.
"Were not just in it for the royalty," said Trend Micro's general counsel
Bob Lowe, in an earlier interview on the two lawsuits. "Our main goal is
having the products be prevented from being sold?Any ongoing sales from
this point forward are infringing and should be