Symantec sues Microsoft to stop Windows Vista

Symantec has sued Microsoft claiming that it has misappropriated Veritas storage technology in Windows.

Symantec has asked a U.S. court to order a halt to the development of Windows Vista, claiming that its rival is wrongfully incorporating Veritas storage technology into its next-generation OS.

Symantec sued Microsoft on Thursday, seeking unspecified damages and also asking the court to remove Symantec's storage technology from a variety of Microsoft products, including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and the upcoming Vista and "Longhorn" Windows Server products. "We're asking them to remove the technology, because it belongs to us," a Symantec spokesman said Thursday.

The dispute centers around an August 1996 agreement between the two companies that granted Microsoft the right to use Veritas Software's volume management technology in its Windows NT product. Symantec purchased Veritas in a US$10.2 billion acquisition that closed last year.

Symantec claims that Microsoft misappropriated its technology and even tricked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office into granting Microsoft patents based on Symantec intellectual property. The security and storage vendor also says that portions of Microsoft's next-generation Vista and "Longhorn" server OSes are based on this misappropriated software.

Microsoft believes it has every right to use the Veritas technology, the company said in a statement. "These claims are unfounded because Microsoft actually purchased intellectual property rights for all relevant technologies from Veritas in 2004," Microsoft said. "The [1996] contract ultimately gave Microsoft the option to buy out the rights to Veritas' code and intellectual property."

According to Symantec, however, this 1996 contract prevents Microsoft from developing products that compete with the Veritas software. Vista contains a number of competing features, relating to the way Vista manages data that is stored on a number of hard drives, Symantec said.

Microsoft's buy-out was an "ill-conceived effort to whitewash" this breach of the agreement, the court filings state.

The two companies have been working at resolving the dispute since 2004, when Symantec caught wind of the Vista features following an early release of the OS at Microsoft's annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference.

During that period, Symantec learned that "Microsoft was so bold as to file fraudulent documents with the U.S. government, claiming stake to certain Veritas inventions," the court filings state. The Microsoft patents in question, which relate to storage management, are: No. 6,553,387, No. 6,629,202, No. 6,681,310, No. 6,684,231 and No. 6,735,603.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?