Secure Computing and Finjan enter patent battle

The two security vendors have been fighting over who owns patents that relate to network security software and systems

Secure Computing and Finjan Software will let a judge decide a dispute over multiple patents associated with the two vendors' products.

The dispute began in 2006 when UK-based Finjan filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Secure Computing and its subsidiaries, CyberGuard and WebWasher. Finjan claims that Webwasher Secure Content Management software suite, IronMail and Cyberguard TSP products infringe a number of its patents. The case is scheduled to go to trial in March 2008.

San Jose-based Secure Computing filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on Wednesday claiming that Finjan's load-balancing security products, including its Vital Security Load Balancer NG-5300 infringes on one of its patents. Secure Computing also claims Finjan conducted a false advertising campaign with misleading statements about its technology. The suite seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Secure Computing is also counterclaiming Finjan's lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Delaware asserting that some of Finjan's security products, including its Vital Security Internet Box infringe on one of its patents. The company said it has 80 patents worldwide.

In a statement on its Web site, Finjan said its patents date back to 1996.

"Finjan intends to vigorously defend against these allegations, and does not believe any of Secure Computing's claims have merit," Finjan said. "Finjan holds several of the earliest patents covering various aspects of web security. The intellectual property in the current patent infringement case involves systems and methods for protecting a computer and a network from hostile downloadables and/or malicious code, with a priority date of November 8, 1996."

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