This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

Barracuda claims Trend Micro patent complaint aims to stifle competition

Share this article:

Officials from Barracuda Networks this week decried a patent complaint filed last year by Trend Micro that demands the firewall vendor remove virus-detection technologies - developed using ClamAV open source code - from its products.

The patent suit, filed against Spanish vendor Panda Software as well, could mean that millions of users of the ClamAV open source product could be potentially sued by Trend Micro, according to Dean Drako, Barracuda president and chief executive officer.

"Trend Micro's actions illustrate that ClamAV and other open source projects remain vulnerable to commercial patent holders attempting to unjustly hinder the free and open source community," he said. "Trend Micro appears to be seeking an interpretation of [U.S. Patent No. 5,623,600] such that it would have exclusive control of gateway anti-virus scanning. Scanning for viruses at the gateway is an obvious and common technique that is utilized by most businesses worldwide."

The U.S. International Trade Commission voted last month to investigate virus- and worm-removal technologies used in Panda and Barracuda solutions.

The inquiry was spurred by a complaint filed last November by Trend claiming that Barracuda and Panda violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by transporting technologies into the United States that infringe a patent owned by Trend.

The case has been referred to ITC Administrative Law Judge Carl Charneski. An ITC spokesman said last week that one year is a reasonable timeframe for a ruling to be made. The ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation early next month.

Barracuda had filed for a declaratory judgment last March to invalidate Trend's patent.

Carolyn Bostick, Trend vice president and general counsel, told on Monday that the use of open source technologies was not the reason her company filed the ITC complaint.

"The issue is not open source. If you take a look at the patent, it refers to a process for scanning and removing malware," she said.

A Panda representative could not be reached for comment.

Sourcefire, a Columbia, Md.-based network security vendor, acquired ClamAV in August of last year.

Trend Micro sued Fortinet, a unified threat management vendor, in 2004, alleging that the company had infringed on one of its patents in its network security software.

Fortinet settled with Trend nearly two years later for an undisclosed amount, ending legal proceedings in federal court, the ITC and a U.S. circuit court appeal of an earlier commission ruling.

Bostick said the Fortinet case sets a precedent for Trend's suit against Barracuda.

Barracuda, however, claimed that the ITC is the wrong venue for Trend to file such a complaint.

"Trend Micro's claim with the ITC is unfounded since the ITC generally oversees import issues," said Drako.

Company: Barracuda Networks Fortinet Sourcefire Trend Micro

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud

Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric

As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.

View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

VC cyber security funding tops £850 million

VC cyber security funding tops £850 million

A new study from US-based research firm CBI Insights reveals that corporate cyber security investments have risen five-fold since 2009, with 30 percent growth in the last year alone.

Russian/Chinese cyber-security pact raises concerns

Russian/Chinese cyber-security pact raises concerns

News that Russia and China are set to sign a cyber-security treaty next month have left Western cyber experts unsure whether it is a threat or a promising development.

UK police arrest trio over £1.6 million cyber theft from cash machines

UK police arrest trio over £1.6 million cyber ...

London Police have arrested three suspected members of an Eastern European cyber-crime gang who installed malware on more than 50 bank ATM machines across the UK to steal £1.6 million.