RealTime IT News

Trend Micro Wins Injunction

Security software maker Trend Micro has won an injunction against Fortinet, banning the security appliance maker from selling its anti-virus firewall machines in the United States.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that Fortinet's FortiGate products infringe a server-based antivirus technology patent Trend Micro has owned in the U.S. since 1997.

The patent, secured by current Trend Micro CEO and Co-founder Eva Chen, provides a software model for how to scan e-mail and Internet data transfers for viruses on servers before the data is piped to a personal computer.

The ITC also triggered a cease-and-desist order to stop Fortinet from infringing the patent in the country.

FortiGate systems detect and eliminate content-based threats, such as viruses, worms and intrusions, without choking network performance.

"We have always been committed to protecting the company's spirit of innovation and its intellectual property, and with the results of this case, we feel that we have achieved that goal," said Carolyn Bostick, Trend Micro's corporate vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "We are very pleased by the judge's decision."

Tokyo-based Trend Micro brought the unfair import complaint against Fortinet last year, and the ITC instituted the investigation in June 2004.

Trend Micro competes with Symantec, McAfee and several others in the anti-virus space. Earlier this week, the company purchased anti-spyware developer InterMute for an undisclosed sum.

The company is not without its gaffes. Last month, the vendor accidentally released a faulty antivirus update, which caused thousands of customers' systems to bog down or lock up completely last weekend.

No punitive damages have been awarded to Trend Micro in the case against Fortinet. In a more high-profile case, Lexar recently won $465.4 million after suing Toshiba for stealing trade secrets.

That case is ongoing and will pick up Monday when a California judge is expected to decide if Lexar's request for an injunction against Toshiba forbidding the Japanese company from selling its Flash memory products in the U.S. is valid. Toshiba is expected to appeal the previous decisions.