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Fortinet barred from selling antivirus

The U.S. International Trade Commission has barred sales of FortiGate products because of Fortinet's patent dispute with Trend Micro.

Fortinet, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor of security appliances, on Monday was ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission to stop selling its FortiGate products in the U.S. because of a patent dispute with Trend Micro. The ITC order stems from an earlier ruling that antivirus software from Fortinet violates a Trend Micro patent. Trend Micro filed a lawsuit against Fortinet last year and also filed a complaint with the ITC. The patent infringement suit is still pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The case was stayed pending the ITC decision.

Fortinet doesn't expect its business will be impacted by the ITC order. Its distributors aren't affected by the order and will continue to sell their inventory of products, said Hal Covert, the company's chief financial officer. At the same time, Fortinet will work on an update to its products to avoid infringing on Trend Micro's patent, he said. That update should be done within three months, he said. Fortinet will also enter license discussions with Trend Micro, Covert said. The ITC specifically allowed Fortinet to continue to support its current customers. Privately-held Fortinet employs about 500 people and had revenue of about $55 million last year, Covert said. The company does most of its business, 70 percent, outside the U.S., Covert said.