Kaspersky Lab crows after beating patent 'troll' in court

Only Kaspersky Lab fought case, claims company

Security company Kaspersky Lab is toasting its recent court victory over a 'patent troll', the Russian firm being the only vendor among a clutch of big names to hold out against the demands of the US patent company that brought the case.

The case started life over three years ago IPAT (Information Protection and Authentication) demanded that up to 35 tech vendors including Microsoft, Symantec and CA pay license fees to cover two early 1990s patents that described security functions including a primitive sandboxing and application control concept to secure programs.

The patent description for the latter was vague by today's standards but IPAT deemed many security companies to be in breach of it, including Kaspersky Lab and rivals such as AVG, Check Point Software, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, PC Tools, Sophos, and Trend Micro.

Few companies mentioned the issue again although apparently all bar Kaspersky Lab gave up and paid out fees of up to $5 million per annum to settle the dispute.

Little reported outside Russia, District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled in favour of Kaspersky in late June.

IPAT would not be able to bring further claims against Kaspersky Lab despite accepting the judgment in a "grudging" way, Kaspersky claimed.

"This is a major achievement. Back in 2008 I said to our lawyers there would be no backing down - we would go to court and fight it out with them," said Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO, Eugene Kaspersky.

"It was our first experience of a patent legal battle and we decided to stand our ground and stand up for our rights. Now we are mulling over ideas to strike back at the trolls. Not only are they extorting money, more importantly they are endangering technological progress!"

The way in which companies - called 'trolls' in disparaging parlance - have used generous US patent laws to create a living for themselves has come in for huge criticism both inside and outside the country for some years.

According to a Boston University School of Law study, litigation by "non-practising entities' could have cost US tech companies $29 billion (£18.3 billion) in 2011 in legal and others costs.

The report concluded that patent litigation was, in effect, a tax on innovation.

"The process was incredibly time-consuming for my team and our lawyers, all of whom faced numerous issues on a daily basis as they fought to ensure we successfully developed and implemented our defence. This just made us all the more determined to beat the patent trolls!," said Kaspersky Lab's chief IP lawyer, Nadezhda Kashchenko.

IPAT has not made a public statement about the case.

The positive result isn't quite the end of the road for 'trolls' and Kaspersky Lab; fellow Texas shell Lodsys Group filed a separate suit against a number of security companies, including the Russian company, in May.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place