Symantec sues Microsoft; requests halt to Vista development

Symantec sues Microsoft for allegedly violating a contract over the use of Symantec's technology.

Symantec on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging that the software giant violated a contract over the use of intellectual property and used the technology to develop a competing product.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, and concerns a contract that Microsoft signed in 1996 with Veritas, which was acquired by Symantec last year. Symantec is also requesting an injunction to stop the further development, sale or distribution of Vista and Longhorn.

The suit itself alleges, among other issues, trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, unfair competition, copyright infringement and patent infringement, and demands a jury trial.

The contract allowed Microsoft to use a technology called Volume Manager, according to Cris Paden, a public relations spokesman for Symantec. Microsoft has planned to use the technology in its operating system to help users manage large flows of data.In the suit,

Symantec alleges that Microsoft took the technology and used it as the basis for a product it developed called Logical Volume Manager.

“We are in a position where we are competing against a product based on our own [intellectual property],” says Paden.

Paden says the two sides have been talking about this for about a year before the suit was filed. He says the suit has not impacted other relationships Symantec has with Microsoft in other areas. “Companies deal with suits like these on a daily basis; this just happens to be two big names, but it is a common, ordinary case,” says Paden.

Microsoft said in a statement released to the Seattle Times, “we worked hard to try to resolve these issues with Symantec, but were not able to reach an agreement. We believe the facts will show that Microsoft's actions were proper and are fully consistent with the contract between Veritas and Microsoft.”

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