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:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BARRACUDA NETWORKS FILES COUNTERSUIT AGAINST TREND MICRO TO DEFEND ITS
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND USE OF OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE
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 www.barracuda.com/legal.
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 www.barracuda.com.