May 18, 2006 1:49 PM PDT

Symantec sues Microsoft over storage tech

Symantec has launched a suit charging Microsoft with misappropriating its intellectual property and with violating a license related to data storage technology.

The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, seeks unspecified damages and an injunction barring Microsoft from using the Symantec technology, which would include a halt on Windows Vista and the Longhorn server, according to a copy of the filing.

"We are accusing them of misusing certain intellectual property that they had access to...and (saying) that they misused our intellectual property in operating system products," Michael Schallop, the director of legal affairs at the security company, said in an interview. It is the first time Microsoft and Symantec have been pitted against each other in court, he said.

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The complaint involves Symantec's Volume Manager product, acquired as part of the company's takeover of Veritas Software. Volume Manager allows operating systems to store and manipulate large amounts of data.

Microsoft licensed a "light" version of Volume Manager from Veritas in 1996 and used it in Windows 2000, Schallop said. The Redmond, Wash., company then used it to develop functionality for Windows Server 2003, which competes with Veritas' Storage Foundation for Windows, Schallop said.

Microsoft also misuses Symantec's technology in Windows Vista and the Longhorn server release, Symantec charges in its complaint. It seeks an injunction to stop Microsoft from further developing, selling or distributing Vista, Longhorn server and all other infringing products, as well as a recall of all products already in the market, according to the complaint.

"The breaches of the agreement and IP violations began after Windows 2000...They were not allowed to use that intellectual property to develop products that compete against Veritas," Schallop said. "They have used our intellectual property in terms of trade secrets and source code to develop competing products."

Additionally, Schallop said, Veritas discovered about two years ago that Microsoft had filed patent requests based on Veritas' trade secrets. "They claimed they had invented something that they had not," he said.

Symantec and Microsoft have tried to resolve the dispute, but were unable to. "We recently agreed to disagree and let the courts help us resolve the dispute," Schallop said. "We think that we will prevail through trial."

A Microsoft representative confirmed the dispute and the attempts to reach an agreement outside of the courts. The argument stems from a "very narrow disagreement" over the terms of a 1996 contract with Veritas, the representative said in a statement.

"These claims are unfounded because Microsoft actually purchased intellectual property rights for all relevant technologies from Veritas in 2004," the representative said. "We believe the facts will show that Microsoft's actions were proper and are fully consistent with the contract between Veritas and Microsoft."

See more CNET content tagged:
VERITAS Software Corp., intellectual property, Microsoft Windows Server Longhorn, Symantec Corp., dispute

15 comments

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Seems...
as if M$ is unable to develop any really good software on their own.
They have to copy/rip everybody else's work to "compete". It
started with them ripping the MAC interface, and now this. I
predict the M$ will continue the slide into obsolescence, and be
non-relevent in less than a decade. Open source will kill them.
If they were smart they'd focus on X-box.
Posted by robot999 (109 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Discloser; invalid Symatics entry trash.sym into my NTF with MSFT mainfr
I was just in for the Beata portion of Vista; Blake had nothing to do with it I was a lone hacker to install this bookmark repair to the Symantic software from Symantec's website.
Posted by Stalin Hornsby (60 comments )
Link Flag
double check your facts
apple didn't create the GUI or the mouse so they claim. osx owes alot to bsd (real memory management not the set memory leaks) and windows (taskbar) and even os-2 (docking bar)
OFFIce is a really good software they did
and apple has yet to do anything on their own as far as complete office apps goes (iworks was a drivitive of open office and neo office)
it was borrowed from a parc xerox which was a research company that was developing new interfaces including gui and the mouse. Which steve jobs visited and saw a demo of (mouse and gui)

they later tried to enter the pc market with the altair
Posted by darkr (97 comments )
Link Flag
If they were smart
They would make some of the open source technologies available in their OS like Apple did with the kernel and Apache and other things.

But MS thinks that they can re-invent the wheel all the time, and that stuborness will eventually kill them.

Plus they still develop weak operating systems, esspecially the desktop.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Seems to me ...
It seems that Symantec is worried about the security features in Vista. There would be no use for them if Vista stopped and cleaned viruses, spam, malware, etc. on it's own.
Posted by billbrown123 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
It's STORAGE, not SECURITY
Although you may know Symantec mostly for its security
products, this issue is not about security at all-- it's about
storage technology that Symantec acquired as part of its
acquisition of Veritas. That's a whole different technology stack!

Anyhow, who in the world would worry about MS competing with
them on **security**? ! ? ! ? ! ? !
Posted by MacVet (45 comments )
Link Flag
I would not be surprised
I would not be surprised if Microsoft used the some strategy which Symantec is accusing them of to acquire Mac OS X secrets for use in Windows Vista. With Microsoft buying Virtual PC software for the Mac I'm sure they also acquired intimidate details of the Mac OS X operating system which they could use to enhance Windows. The graphics ability of Mac OS X has been/is far more capable than any Windows OS, that is until Windows Vista arrives. What other interest has Microsoft got in developing Virtual PC for the Mac?
Posted by shusseina (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Correction to comment...
That should read "I would not be surprised if Microsoft used the SAME strategy..."
Posted by shusseina (3 comments )
Link Flag
You're spewing nonsense
Every company stands upon the shoulders of those they can. Apple is by and far not an exception to this rule. Apple doesn't develop new products, they improve on existing products, making them "cool" again. As for the graphics ability of OSX vs Vista, there isn't a contest. OSX is far inferior in this regard. Mac has long been the platform of choice for amatuer Video/Photo editing, but this is do to the hardware they used; with the shift to Intel chips, their hardware lead is effectively gone. Additionally, most professional video/photo manipulation and graphics rendering utilizes hardware never available to the Mac platform.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft & Macs
Microsoft has always made software for Macs and has had intimate details, consider Microsoft Office they obviously had been developing that before they bought Virtual PC. Go to <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.folklore.org" target="_newWindow">http://www.folklore.org</a> and do a search on "Bill Gates". It is facinating stuff.
Posted by georgescott (48 comments )
Link Flag
Uh-oh...another $1Bln out the window?
You would think Microsoft's managers would be more cautious with their cash hoard, instead of continuing to do things that could result in potentially costly IP suits.

$4Bln so far in infringement settlements. I wonder what the shareholders have to say.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Very interesting just wondering what was the out come.

<a class="user" href="http://realestate-qld.com&amp;quot; rel="nofollow">http://realestate-qld.cbsi.com&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt
Posted by Charlieboy38 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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