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Symantec sues Microsoft over the use of Volume Manager

Antony Savvas

Symantec is suing Microsoft for allegedly violating its data storage technology, which could impact on the launch of Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system and its Longhorn server product.

Symantec wants damages and a removal of the technology from Microsoft products, including Vista and Longhorn.

The lawsuit covers the use of the Symantec Volume Manager product, which was acquired by Symantec as part of its takeover of Veritas. Volume Manager allows operating systems, like Vista, to store and manipulate large amounts of data.

Symantec says Microsoft licensed a “light” version of Volume Manager from Veritas in 1996 and used it in Windows 2000. Symantec also says Microsoft later used the solution to develop Windows Server 2003.

Symantec further charges that Microsoft has used the technology to develop Windows Vista and Longhorn server. Symantec is attempting to stop Microsoft from using Volume Manager and to recall all existing products that wrongly use it.

Symantec claims Microsoft was not allowed to use Volume Manager after the release of Windows 2000. The use of Volume Manager in other products allows Microsoft to compete against alternative Veritas solutions that Symantec sells.

The two sides had previously attempted to settle the disagreement out of court, said both companies.

Microsoft said the use of the Veritas technology is covered by an intellectual property rights deal it agreed with Veritas in 2004, before the company was taken over by Symantec.

Microsoft said Symantec’s lawsuit had no merit and would be defended.


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