Symantec sets legal wolves upon Zscaler

Alleges patent infringements by ... hang on, they work together?

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Having had its patent infringement lawsuits against Veeam seen off by the US courts, Symantec has now filed an IP infringement lawsuit against cloud-based security outfit ZScaler.

Symantec claims Zscaler infringes seven of its more than 2,000 US patents – numbers 6,279,113; 7,203,959; 7,246,227; 7,392,543; 7,735,116; 8,181,036; and 8,661,498. The suit has been filed in the U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Delaware.

According to the US Public Access to Court Electronic Records website, Symantec is and has been involved in a total of 443 lawsuits, although the latest filing against Zscaler is not yet visible in the system.

In the usual canned quote, typical of such cases, Symantec’s general counsel, secretary and EVP Scott Taylor said: “We have an obligation to our customers and our shareholders to defend our intellectual property when we believe it has been infringed, and the lawsuit filed against Zscaler is intended to stop them from copying our pioneering technologies in network security. … Today’s action is a necessary step to defend our valuable ideas and assets that Symantec customers rely on for industry-leading cyber defense.”

To make Zscaler tremble a little more, Symantec said it is continuing to investigate this matter and will file further claims if additional infringements are identified.

The irony here is that Symantec and Zscaler work together in the Security-as-a-Service and Data Loss Prevention area. In effect, Symantec is mounting a legal attack on one of its partners.

A further irony is that old guard Symantec was said to be thinking about buying new dog Zscaler earlier this year, but bought Blue Coat and its web and cloud security portfolio in June for $4.7bn.

We have asked ZScaler for a comment. None has been made so far, and we will update this story with the expected rebuttal about Symantec’s groundless claims, mounting of a robust defence, etc., etc. ®


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