Fortinet settles anti-virus patent dispute

Done and dusted


Fortinet has settled a long-running legal dispute with Trend Micro over its alleged infringement of Trend's patent for server-based anti-virus technology. Financial terms of settlement, announced Monday, were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, both firms agreed to dismiss US International Trade Commission (ITC) proceedings and pending civil lawsuits in US federal courts. Last August the ITC passed an order blocking Fortinet from importing its FortiGate anti-virus firewall products into the US, pending resolution of a patent dispute with rival Trend Micro. The ruling upholds an earlier preliminary finding that Fortinet had infringed Trend's patent (US patent 5,623,600).

The ruling meant Fortinet was able to support its existing customers but was prevented from supplying new US customers with anti-virus updates for FortiGate appliances bought after the order was issued, potentially diminishing the appeal of Fortinet's all-in-one security product. The US accounted for 30 per cent of Fortinet sales prior to the ruling, a factor which no doubt focused Fortinet's attention in getting Trend's legal roadblock to its expansion stateside lifted. ®


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