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Legal tussles continue

Legal tussles continue

The world of antivirus software has recently expanded from mere file protection to encompass protection of groupware, firewalls, Java applets and ActiveX components.

It seems the only thing antivirus software space isn't protected from is rival antivirus companies' lawsuits.

Symantec has amended its lawsuit against McAfee Associates, alleging more of its products contain pirated Symantec code. McAfee said it will counter-sue Symantec for defamation and business interference. And both are still being sued by new kid on the US block, Trend Micro, which recently was given a patent for its computer virus detection techniques.

Symantec's initial lawsuit, filed in April, alleged that McAfee's PC Medic 97 contained code taken from Symantec's Norton CrashGuard. With the amendment, Symantec charges that other McAfee products, including its flagship VirusScan software, also contain pilfered Symantec code.

Neither The Paradigm Agency (McAfee's local distributor) nor Symantec's local office would comment on the law suit.

Asked about the effect on Trend's Australian operations of the US litigation, Kenny Liao, Trend's Australian operations manager, said it's business as usual.

"It has no effect on local operations at all," he said. "That's pending the outcome of the case, of course. The company has long laid claim to technological leadership in virus protection," said Liao.

"The granting of the patent last month is the best evidence possible of our right to make such claims. The US litigation is simply a further assertion of that right, and we're confident it will be upheld," said Liao.


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