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Fortinet, Trend Micro Settle Antivirus Patent Dispute

Security upstart Fortinet and Trend Micro said Monday that they have settled their longstanding patent dispute. Trend Micro has long alleged that Fortinet&'s FortiGate appliances infringe on its patent dealing with scanning for viruses at the gateway.

Trend Micro has long alleged that Fortinet&'s FortiGate appliances infringe on its patent dealing with scanning for viruses at the gateway. Fortinet&'s FortiGate appliance competes in the unified threat management segment, an emerging category of all-in-one security appliances that serve as firewalls and VPNs, with antivirus, antispyware and other security options available.

Terms of the settlement weren&'t disclosed. Both companies agreed to move for dismissal of the ongoing U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) proceedings and to dismiss the appeal of the prior ITC determination pending in Federal Circuit Court and the pending suit in U.S. District Court.

In August, the ITC ordered Fortinet to stop selling products that contain its antivirus software. The order stemmed from an earlier ruling that Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fortinet's antivirus software violated a Trend Micro patent dealing with scanning for viruses at the gateway.

That ruling stirred up the channel, leaving VARs with FortiGate in their inventory wondering if they could sell it and putting many customers into a holding pattern.

In October, Fortinet released new software with a different antivirus approach that it claimed avoided Trend Micro's patent, and Fortinet began shipping new products into the United States again.

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