Symantec Wins Jury Verdict Over Finjan Patent Claims

Symantec Corp. (SYMC), the world’s biggest maker of security software, won’t have to pay Finjan Inc. any royalties after a federal jury decided Symantec didn’t infringe two patents.

The jury of three men and three women deliberated about four hours following a three-week trial before also deciding today that the Finjan patents aren’t valid because the technology isn’t new.

Symantec “didn’t need Finjan’s technology,” said attorney David Nelson, representing the company. “We already had it.”

In 1998 and 1999, the two software makers discussed a potential merger, Nelson said. Symantec chose not to pursue the transaction because it had already developed its own innovative software, according to the lawyer.

“Symantec respects and agrees with the jury’s findings,” Cris Paden, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Symantec, said in an e-mailed statement. “Symantec takes its ability to innovate technology solutions very seriously” and will defend itself if Finjan appeals, he said.

Finjan, with offices in San Jose, California, and Netanya, Israel, sued Symantec as well as Websense Inc. (WBSN) and Sophos Inc. in 2010 over patents for protecting computers and networks from “hostile downloadables,” according to court papers. The jury also ruled in favor of Websense and Sophos, saying they didn’t infringe, either.

Paul Andre, a lawyer representing Finjan, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the verdict.

Symantec, known for its Norton antivirus products, rose 3 cents to $18.64 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

The case is Finjan v. Symantec, 10-cv-593, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patents in the lawsuit, click: 6,092,194 and 6,480,962.

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington at pmilford@bloomberg.net; Michael Bathon in Wilmington at mbathon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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