Anti-virus firm Trend Micro is suing Barracuda Networks over their use of the open source anti-virus product ClamAV. The issue is Trend Micro's patent on 'anti-virus detection on an SMTP or FTP gateway'. Companies like Symantec and McAfee are already paying licensing fees to Trend Micro. Groklaw carries the word from Barracuda that they intend to fight this case, and are seeking information on prior art to bring to trial. Commentary on the O'Reilly site notes (in strident terms) the strange reality of patents gone bad, while a post to the C|Net site explores the potential ramifications for open source security projects. "Barracuda has been able to leverage open source to bring down the cost of security. Early on Barracuda was blocking spam and viruses at roughly 1/10 the price of the nearest proprietary competitor (that was only selling an antivirus solution). Barracuda has helped to bring down prices across the board, and it has been able to do so because of open source. More open source equals less spam and more security. Trend Micro is effectively trying to raise the price of security." Slashdot and Linux.com are both owned by SourceForge.
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