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Veeam wins ruling that guts Symantec lawsuit

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has invalidated the final four patents in Symantec’s infringement lawsuit against Veeam Software, making it difficult for Symantec to win its suit against the smaller vendor.

The USPTO patent trial and appeal board invalidated the first three patents involved in the suit in February, and has now ruled in Veeam’s favor on all seven disputed patents.

“The case is essentially over,” said Doug Hazelman, Veeam’s senior director of product strategy.

Veeam filed a joint status report with the U.S. District Court of Northern California Court last Friday advising that all asserted claims are invalid. Symantec can appeal the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling but a company spokesman said no decision has been made on whether to proceed

“Symantec is aware of the Patent Board rulings.  We will continue to consider all of our legal options to protect our intellectual property,” Symantec spokesman Kurt Mumma said via email.

Symantec filed two lawsuits in 2012 in the Northern California court claiming that Veeam’s software infringed on seven Symantec storage, restore and backup patents. While preparing its court defense, Veeam also challenged the validity of the patents. The USPTO agreed with Veeam that the patents were obvious or anticipated by prior art, which means the technology involved was known or used before a patent was obtained.

Hazelman said while the lawsuits did not generate a great deal of attention, “some of our largest accounts were paying attention” and losing the lawsuit could have harmed its business.

Veeam said its bookings grew 22 percent in the first quarter of 2015 over last year, adding 10,800 paid customers in the quarter. For 2014, Veeam said its revenue grew 40 percent year over year to $389 million.

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