U.S. court orders Symantec to pay $17 million for patent infringement

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 06, 2015 5:29 PM

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) - Symantec Corp, maker of the popular Norton antivirus software, was ordered to pay $17 million in damages on Friday after a federal jury in Delaware found it had violated two patents owned by Intellectual Ventures, a major patent licensing company.

The damages award was far less than the $298 million Intellectual Ventures had been seeking. The jury also cleared Symantec of infringing a third patent.

While a blow to Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec, the verdict, which also confirmed the validity of the patents, strengthens Intellectual Ventures' track record in court. The multibillion-dollar company has become one of the biggest patent owners in the world and only recently began suing companies in addition to its longtime strategy of licensing its wide array of patents.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Intellectual Ventures, accused Symantec in 2010 of infringing its intellectual property with the security software company's email and Internet protection products, including Norton antivirus.

Intellectual Ventures sued three other firms at the same time. Only Symantec and Trend Micro Inc chose not to settle.

Friday's verdict will likely have a bearing on Trend Micro's trial, which is scheduled to begin in May.

The case is Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp, No. 10-cv-01067, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Marguerita Choy)