Symantec Drops Lawsuit Against Microsoft

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-04-03 Print this article Print

The original lawsuit alleged Microsoft illegally bundled volume-management software technology it had licensed from Veritas into several Windows versions, but Symantec is dismissing it.

Symantec asked the U.S. District Court in Seattle on April 1 to dismiss the lawsuit it brought against Microsoft in May 2006 for misappropriation of intellectual property and breach of contract.

Symantec, which sought unspecified damages in the original lawsuit, alleged that Microsoft inappropriately developed competing products and bundled into several versions of Windows volume-management software technology it licensed from Veritas before Symantec bought that company for $10.2 billion.

Under an August 1996 agreement, Veritas granted Microsoft the right to use its volume management technology in Windows NT.

The original lawsuit asked the court to remove Symantec storage technology from a number of Microsoft products, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, as well as Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, both of which were still under development at that time.

Symantec also claimed that Microsoft tricked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office into granting it patents based on Symantec IP and then based parts of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 on this.

Microsoft spokesperson David Bowermaster confirmed earlier reports of the settlement, but declined to comment beyond the official statement the two companies released, which said the dispute had been amicably resolved "in a manner that reaffirms and extends our technical cooperation on volume management technologies. This agreement will produce significant benefits for our many mutual customers using mission-critical storage software technologies."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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