Patent firm Lodsys backs out of dispute with Kaspersky Lab

A court in Texas passed an order dismissing the claims and counterclaims

Security firm Kaspersky Lab said patent firm Lodsys had withdrawn its claims rather than face the verdict of the court in a patent dispute.

"Kaspersky Lab paid no money to Lodsys, and did not agree to any settlement terms," it said Wednesday.

The outcome is seen as a key win for technology companies fighting in court with patent companies, popularly known as patent trolls because they extract royalty and damages for the patents they own, but do not make any products.

Lodsys wanted to avoid a ruling on the merits of its claims, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote in a blog post. "While it has sued some big players, most of its targets have been tiny app developers who lack the resources to defend patent litigation," it said.

Kaspersky was the only one of 55 companies sued by Lodsys that decided to fight on and demanded the case be brought to trial, rather than settle with the patent firm in a lawsuit filed in a court in Texas in May 2012, the security company said.

Lodsys claimed that each of the companies was infringing on one or more of four patents, that pertain to collecting user's perceptions about the product, including purchases, and upgrades with computer applications.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall division, passed an order earlier this week dismissing with prejudice all claims and counterclaims between Lodsys and Kaspersky. Attorneys' fees and other expenses were to be borne by the party that incurred them. The two companies had earlier moved the court for the dismissal.

Symantec, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Electronics recently settled with Lodsys, according to court records.

"Our lawyers in the court reported that Lodsys has withdrawn its lawsuit and the judge dismissed the case 'with prejudice', meaning they can't bring a similar case against us again," said Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of the company in a blog post. Lodsys could not be immediately reached for comment.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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