Key Harrington Barnes, PC

Symantec to pay for patent infringement

Investors in Texas might benefit from understanding more about the court case ordering Symantec Corp to pay $17 million for patent infringement. The case was decided by a federal jury on Feb. 6 in Delaware. Intellectual Ventures was the plaintiff in the case, seeking $298 million in damages for two patent infringements. The jury awarded the patent licensing company $17 million for damages from the two violations, but cleared Symantec of the third alleged patent violation.

Intellectual Ventures is currently one of the largest patent holders in the world, and in addition to its long-standing strategy of licensing a diverse portfolio of patents, the company has begun fling lawsuits against organizations violating its patent rights. Chief litigation counsel at Intellectual Ventures described the outcome as exemplifying the firm's commitment towards protecting customers and inventor interests. According to Reuters, Symantec purchased one of the patents for less than $1 million.

During 2010, Intellectual Ventures accused Symantec of patent infringement that involved Norton antivirus, and other Internet and email security products. Three other companies that were sued by Intellectual Ventures at the time as Symantec but they opted to settle their cases outside of court. A spokesperson from Symantec expressed relief that the jury awarded the plaintiff much less then they requested. However, the Norton antivirus provider plans to explore alternative remedies that may be able to help reduce the amount of damages even further.

As this case shows, infringement of another party's intellectual property rights could result in serious legal complications. However, lawyers may be able to review the intellectual property under consideration and begin developing a viable strategy for protecting the inventor's long-term interests. They might also be able to help a client maintain compliance under licensing schemes.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. court orders Symantec to pay $17 mln for patent infringement," Andrew Chung, Feb. 6, 2015

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