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.

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