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Barracuda Networks Countersues Trend Micro
Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:29 PM EDT

There's some news on the Trend Micro v.Barracuda Networks case. That is the one where Trend Micro sued Barracuda over ClamAV and brought a complaint to the International Trade Commission. Barracuda has just filed a countersuit in California, alleging patent infringement by Trend Micro. They say it's a defensive use of three patents they bought from IBM. Barracuda asks for money damages and an injunction on further sales of infringing Trend Micro products.

They plan to contribute proceeds, if they win, to the open source community. “We are grateful to the open source community, many of whom have contributed significant prior art in our ongoing case against Trend Micro,” Dean Drako, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks, is quoted as saying in the press release, which I'll share with you. That would include us. This news follows the media reports that a Groklaw member came up with some very valuable prior art for Barracuda on top of all that you guys turned up as a group.

You know how Red Hat said when it first started to file for patents that it was exclusively for defense purposes? Here's an example of when some software patents can come in handy.

Here's the press release:



Campbell, Calif., July 2, 2008 – Barracuda Networks Inc., the worldwide leader in email and Web security appliances, today announced it has filed a countersuit in the Court for the Central District of California against Trend Micro. The countersuit alleges that Trend Micro infringes upon three patents owned by Barracuda Networks and seeks damages and an injunction on sales of the infringing products.

This countersuit comes as Barracuda Networks continues to defend itself, the open source community and the free and open source ClamAV project, against a claim made by Trend Micro with the International Trade Commission (ITC). That claim alleges that Barracuda Networks infringes on Trend Micro's U.S. Patent No. 5,623,600 (‘600 patent), but effectively implies that anyone using the free and open source ClamAV software at the gateway infringes the patent. Barracuda Networks believes that the '600 patent is invalid and further believes that neither its products nor the ClamAV software infringe the patent.

“The reality is that Trend Micro is asking Barracuda Networks to pay for the use of the free and open source ClamAV software," said Dean Drako, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks. "We have asserted all along that Trend Micro's actions are unjust and could have serious implications against the open source community and other free and open source projects."

In its countersuit, Barracuda Networks claims that Trend Micro infringes upon U.S. Patent Nos. 7,093,287; 7,093,294 and 7,103,913 which were purchased by Barracuda Networks in an effort to build an intellectual property (IP) portfolio for defense. These patents, purchased from IBM and developed at the world-renowned Thomas J. Watson Research Center, detail valuable methodologies for virus protection, spam and Web filtering, and intrusion detection.

“Barracuda Networks would prefer to focus on innovation, not litigation, so it is unfortunate that we must defend ourselves with a countersuit,” said Drako. “Innovation will lead to a safer Internet, litigation will not.”

If successful, Barracuda Networks plans to contribute all of the net proceeds to help the open source community.

“We are grateful to the open source community, many of whom have contributed significant prior art in our ongoing case against Trend Micro,” said Drako.

For more information on this issue, please visit

About Barracuda Networks Inc.
Barracuda Networks Inc. is the worldwide leader in email and Web security appliances. Barracuda Networks also provides world-class IM protection, application server load balancing, Web application security, and message archiving appliances. More than 50,000 companies, including Coca-Cola, FedEx, Harvard University, IBM, L'Oreal, and Europcar, are protecting their networks with Barracuda Networks’ solutions. Barracuda Networks' success is due to its ability to deliver easy to use, comprehensive solutions that solve the most serious issues facing customer networks without unnecessary add-ons, maintenance, lengthy installations or per user license fees. Barracuda Networks is privately held with its headquarters in Campbell, Calif. Barracuda Networks has offices in eight international locations and distributors in more than 80 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit


Barracuda Networks Countersues Trend Micro | 160 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off Topic
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:32 PM EDT
Please include links!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:32 PM EDT
Post 'em if you find 'em

Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds
the universe together.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Here
Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:33 PM EDT
Please include title.

Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds
the universe together.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: BobinAlaska on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:34 PM EDT
Please include links. Sorry about the anonymous one wasn't logged in.

Bob Helm, Juneau, Alaska

[ Reply to This | # ]

Rather like a wildfire-fighting tactic --
Authored by: joef on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:55 PM EDT
Fight the fire with a backfire.

[ Reply to This | # ]

heh, i hope this turns out good
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 12:56 PM EDT
But patent fighting is dangerous :)
They are better as a threatening tool, once they are used, they can quickly turn
out to be invalidated.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Excellent warfare tactic....
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 01:35 PM EDT

Barracuda Networks is employing a very effective tactic:

    1) Provide a defense in such a way as to effectively limit any damage caused by the opponent.
However, they've combined it with another tactic which is very effective in making other's who would also attack think twice before starting "another war":
    2) Attack with such force that those who started the war are punished for the path they choose. Punishment should be at least a multiple greater then the harm they would have caused.
Barracuda Networks is only attacking with a factor of 3. My preferred is a factor of 10. I've found it very effective in keeping the peace.

Personally, I think our lawcourts should enact such punishments as well. It should be built in with an initial factor cost that increases with each repeat offense that is convicted.

For example, the initial factor for non-heinous crimes is at 1.5x. The second offense at 3x, the third offense at 6x... in short, keep increasing the previous punishment by a factor of 2x the previous factor. Note that this should be on top of the cost of keeping a person in jail. The cost of commiting a crime will be easy to pay initially (perhaps) but quickly get increasingly more expensive till the cost of the crime significantly outweighs any benefit of the crime.

On top of that, any time spent in jail should have the costs of that paid by the guilty. It should not be up to society to foot the bill of keeping an inmate in jail. In such a situation, you'll have a system that deters all but the most non-deterable people. With such people, there is nothing that can deter them.

I define non-heinous as those crimes that do not result in the bodily harm to a human-life. For example, let's say a cat-burgler is found guilty to having stolen $100,000. Then his punishment is equivalent to $150,000 as this is a first offense. Repeat offences would be as follows:

  1. Second offense, guilty of $200,000, factor of 3x: Cost = $600,000.
  2. Third offense, guilty of $15,000, factor of 6x: Cost = $90,000
  3. Fourth offense, guilty of $150,000, factor of 12x: Cost = $1,800,000
No matter how rich you are, you'll reach a point it truly doesn't pay to do crime.

Of course, by repeat, I'm talking repeat equivalent offences. A speeding ticket would not be grouped into the same grouping with robbing a bank. However, repeat speeding tickets should keep going up by factors as well.

When it comes to heinous crimes.... well... the punishment should come with an even higher cost. It's a bit unjust that a person who beats another seems to have a cost associated that is smaller then a child downloading happy birthday for her mp3 player. On that note, the costs of each of those seem to fit into two seperate categories. The person who beat another would be charged criminally. The child would generally be sued civilly. I wonder if the cost to the criminal can be increased by the victims bringing a civil lawsuit. That might make things a bit more Just with regards the punishments for criminals.

Caveat: I'm nowhere near wise enough to know the true impact of the above on Society. In short: take it as my own opinion on how Society can protect itself better without having to resort to giving up it's rights of freedom.


[ Reply to This | # ]

When did they buy the patents from IBM?
Authored by: cm16 on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 01:35 PM EDT
It would be interesting to know if they purchased their patents from IBM before
or after the suit was filed...

Were they possibly sort of a donation from IBM to help their case?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trend Micro
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 02:08 PM EDT
TrendMicro has been on my list for about 18 months as a company that I will
never do business with again. About 3 years ago I purchased a 1 year contract
for PC-cillin based upon both technical reviews, using the corporate version on
a laptop required to access a client VPN and the availability of a 3 PC home
license. I renewed it a couple of times for a year at a time, then based upon a
positive experience bought the 3 year license for the 2007 product. All of a
sudden the daily virus signature updates were taking 15 minutes, vs the less
than 1 minute the prior version used. I spent much time with tech support,
changed many settings with no improvement. Wrote the US GM for TrendMicro and
after follow up calls to make sure that he received the letter, NEVER received a

So, that was a very long way of saying, may the force be with barracuda.


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Trend Micro - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 03 2008 @ 11:02 AM EDT
Barracuda backscatter
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 03:16 PM EDT
Many, including me, want to roll over and be loved by Barracuda Network's hardware/software solutions. Certainly the recent counter-suit only adds to the desire.

But I remember significant technical controversy on Groklaw over the backscatter issue caused by their "anti-spam" devices. Not being an e-mail admin, I don't have a significant understanding of the issue, I admit.

What is the status of this issue? Can we fully love Barracuda, or are they still a subject of some debate?

I note they address the issue on their support web site:

How can I prevent "Backscatter" on my Barracuda Spam Firewall?

Also, does anyone know for sure whose hardware they are re-branding? I thought it was Dell's, but I wasn't absolutely sure.

Form follows function.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Eyeballs for ODF - the Groklaw discussion thread
Authored by: bbaston on Wednesday, July 02 2008 @ 04:55 PM EDT
"Eyeballs for ODF" feedback goes here. PJ says:
"Stay polite at all times, of course, if you say anything, and you needn't say anything, but do follow along and please keep us posted on anything you see that sounds peculiar", and later adds, "Do whatever is possible to avoid engagement with trolls, here and there."

ODF Implementation, Interoperability and Conformance links: formation, archive, draft charter , and #oiic logs.
By registering for OASIS OIIC Discussion, you can monitor #oiic [requires chat program such as xchat or Firefox's ChatZilla addin] at and then /join #oiic. Please follow PJ's guidelines on #oiic.

imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic (sort of) - Patents vs. Copyrights
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 03 2008 @ 10:41 AM EDT
It is my understanding that the intention of the patent laws is to stimulate
innovation. They do this by granting the inventor a limited monopoly on the
manufacture of their invention. However, to stimulate innovation, the inventor
is supposed to grant, in exchange, implied permission for others to make copies
of the invention and to reverse engineer those copies in order to find a more
innovative way of accomplishing the same thing. Without these implied
permissions, innovation cannot happen. Copyrights, on the other hand, are
designed to give the holder protection against any form of copying, except for
fair use, without their permission.
It would appear, to me at least, that patent protection and copyright protection
are incompatible. So I guess my question is: Does the application of a patent to
copyrighted software nullify the copyrights or vice versa?


[ Reply to This | # ]

mad at - Barracuda Networks Countersues Trend Micro
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 04 2008 @ 07:36 AM EDT
I am still mad that Barracuda will not allow you to sell a used spam filter. They would rather force the sale of a new piece of hardware rather than permit you to subscribe to the spam filter subscription when someone else no longer needs the hardware. That is not very green friendly.< /a>

[ Reply to This | # ]

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