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RealTime IT News

Symantec, Aladdin Settle Patent Spat

Internet security specialist Symantec has reached a patent dispute truce with Aladdin Knowledge Systems over technology used to scan Web-based information for malicious viruses.

Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec said the deal resolves all pending litigation between the two companies.

The dispute centered about the use of Patent No. 5,319,776, which covered in-transit scanning for harmful computer code used in viruses. Symantec acquired the patent as part of a separate settlement with Hilgraeve and assumed the role of plaintiff in the case against Aladdin.

"When we purchased the patent, we recognized just how critical it was to several security technology defenses and how essential it can be in providing comprehensive protection against the growing number of threats in today's environment," said Symantec CEO John Thompson.

News of the settlement comes at a crucial time for Symantec, the anti-virus firm that markets the Norton suite of PC security software to the enterprise and consumer markets. A rise in computer and Internet related threats has opened new markets for security firms but with the business comes increasing competition.

Just this week, rival Network Associates announced a dramatic restructuring move that included the sale of its Sniffer division, the adoption of the McAfee corporate brand and a narrower focus on Internet security products and services.

The Network Associates plan includes a fundamental redesign of internal back office systems, a modification of product designs and Web services changes to the reseller and distribution programs.