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Symantec pays $62.5m to settle patent lawsuit

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Symantec yesterday paid $62.5 million to settle a long-running patent lawsuit with Michigan-based security firm Hilgraeve.

As part of the settlement for a patent involving in-transit scanning for malicious code (US Patent Number 5,319,776), Symantec also received licences to the remaining patents in Hilgraeve's portfolio, including patents related to data communications.

John W Thompson, Symantec chairman and CEO, said in a statement: "In-transit scanning of multiple security signatures is a must-have component of an effective security solution and by purchasing this patent we are making sure that Symantec's products, technologies and customers are protected today and in the future."

According to a statement on Hilgraeve's site, the firm has being in dispute with McAfee and Symantec (the world's two biggest AV firms) over alleged infringement of its in-transit scanning patent since 1997.

Symantec will take a one-time charge for the settlement resulting in a downward adjustment of its previously announced Q1 2004 net income by $9.5 million, resulting in revised net income for the quarter ending July 4 2003 of $59 million.

The security software firm's previous guidance for Q2 2004 remains unaltered by the Hilgraeve deal. Symantec expects its income to peg out at between $375 to $395 million for Q2 2004. ®

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