CUPERTINO, Calif. --April 23, 1997-- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) today filed claim against McAfee Associates for knowingly pirating vital software code. In the lawsuit, filed this morning in Santa Clara County, Symantec accuses McAfee of stealing code from Norton CrashGuard, a crash protection and recovery program, and incorporating it into McAfee's PC Medic. The accusations of copyright infringement were confirmed by independent analysis prior to the filing of the lawsuit. Symantec is asking for a recall of PC Medic and an injunction against McAfee to stop shipping versions of PC Medic containing Symantec code. Symantec is also seeking to recover all of McAfee's profits from shipments of products containing Symantec code as well as other monetary damages.
Gordon Eubanks, Symantec's CEO, said today that Symantec launched this lawsuit reluctantly, but given the weight of the evidence and the seriousness of the allegations, the decision to pursue litigation was unavoidable. "These allegations are extremely serious, and we decided to pursue the matter only after full analysis and contemplation," said Eubanks.
"We recognize that this type of behavior is extremely detrimental to both the software industry and to consumers and a stop must be put to it now," he added. "It's a sad irony that even as the industry is beginning to solve piracy issues overseas, new piracy problems are emerging here in our own backyard." Eubanks also points out that the proliferation of software piracy inhibits innovation critical to corporations and consumers and rewards pirates, not innovators.
The lawsuit contends that McAfee knowingly stole patent-pending code from Symantec's Norton CrashGuard. Norton CrashGuard was launched in September 1996 and currently has more than 500,000 users. McAfee's PC Medic was launched in March 1997.
"Computer users deserve technical innovation," said Enrique Salem, Symantec's Chief Technology Officer. "Symantec spends a lot of time focusing on the needs of our customers and providing innovative solutions. Having a competitor that's not servicing the customer is a disservice to both the customer and the industry."
Symantec's claims were confirmed by independent analysis conducted by Thuridion, a leading software consulting company. "After careful review of the technique used by both Norton CrashGuard and McAfee PC Medic, we found them to be uncharacteristically similar," said Patrick Hendry, Thuridion's Chief Technical Officer. "Close inspection through the use of debugging tools shows that a critical section of code which is used to actually revive a crashed application are identical."
"It is highly unlikely that two independent developers would come up with the identical technique, not to mention the identical computer instructions," Hendry added.
About Symantec Corporation
Founded in 1982, Symantec Corporation, with revenue of $445.4 million in 1996, develops, markets, and supports a diverse line of applications and system software products designed to enhance individual and productivity. Primary products include advanced utilities, security utilities, fax and communications software, contact management software, internet/development tools, and consumer and productivity applications. Consumers consist of corporations, government agencies, higher education institutions, small offices and home offices, and individual users worldwide.
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