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October 9, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:50pm

WAR OF WORDS ESCALATES BETWEEN SYMANTEC AND MCAFEE

By CBR Staff Writer

The bitter war of words between rival anti-virus and PC utilities companies, McAfee Associates and Symantec Corp over allegedly stolen code looks to be heading for a trial hearing in September next year. The dispute is raging over approximately 100 lines of code from McAfee’s VirusScan product, and 30 lines from PC Medic, all of which Symantec claims is stolen; and the corresponding doubts have recently cast a shadow over McAfee’s stock price. This week, a district court in San Jose, California has granted an injunction that prevents McAfee from shipping products which contain the disputed code, but the ruling looks to be a hollow victory for Symantec as McAfee claims the code was voluntarily removed from all of its products months ago and hence the ruling will have no commercial impact. Perhaps Symantec will now turn its resources to competing in the market instead of squandering shareholder resources on lawsuits that are without merit, said Peter Watkins, McAfee’s general manager of network security. Unlikely, says Symantec’s chief technical officer, who countered by stating that Symantec will continue to aggressively prosecute McAfee for violating our intellectual property rights, and anything McAfee says to the contrary is just wishful thinking. Meanwhile McAfee’s shares have rocketed back up from $50 to $65 on the pre-announcement that third quarter earnings are likely to exceed previous forecasts by one cent at $0.45 per share on record quarterly revenues. This follows the company’s downbeat comments in its last quarterly filing that current growth rates could not be sustained, comments that caused the shares to slide by 10%.

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