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McAfee sued for patent infringement

DeepNines claims McAfee is marking and selling products based on the DeepNines patent for the Security Edge Platform, a unified threat management product that integrates several tools into a single device.

Antivirus vendor McAfee Inc. is being sued by Dallas-based security firm DeepNines Inc. because of alleged patent infringement and false product marking.

DeepNines said it was issued U.S. patent number 7,058,976 in June for its Security Edge Platform (SEP), a unified threat management product that integrates firewall, behavior- and signature-based intrusion detection (IDS) and prevention (IPS), antivirus and traffic management into a single device.

But, DeepNines claims, Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee has been marking and selling about nine separate products that claim the patent as its own, including McAfee IntruShield and Total Protection, which the vendor released in April to much fanfare.

As a result, DeepNines is seeking damages and a permanent injunction to prevent McAfee from marketing and selling the infringing products, company president Dan Jackson said in a phone interview Thursday morning. Law firm Fish & Richardson P.C. is representing DeepNines, and the lawsuit has been filed in United States District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.

"We intend to protect our intellectual property, just as we respect the intellectual property rights of others" he said. "Although DeepNines continuously monitors the products of its competitors, at this point, our focus remains on McAfee for both infringing our patent and falsely marking its products with a patent that is invalid and purports to claim the same invention covered by our patent."

Jackson would not specify what damages his company is seeking. DeepNines was founded in 1999 and claims to have more than 200 product installations across industries such as financial services, education, energy and government.

McAfee spokesperson Siobhan MacDermott declined to offer a detailed response about the lawsuit because she had not yet seen a copy of the full document. She did note that McAfee has its own lawsuit pending against DeepNines, but she couldn't offer details about that lawsuit, other than that it was filed in January.

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