Big crypto rivals settle patent, copyright suits

Summary:Crypto maker RSA Data Security Inc. and networking products maker Network Associates Inc.

Crypto maker RSA Data Security Inc. and networking products maker Network Associates Inc. (NETA) said Monday they settled patent infringement and copyright lawsuits brought by RSA.

The agreement resolves three lawsuits among the companies and cancels a court-ordered arbitration hearing.

The settlement could smooth the waters between the two companies in their fight over next-generation e-mail security.

"Network Associates is an adult company, they are not going to play a petty game based on ideology," said Bruce Schneier, president of security consultancy Counterpane Systems. "It is not surprising they settled."

RSA's original suit had been with crypto software creator Pretty Good Privacy Inc., which had pushed the government towards a more open encryption policy. Network Associates acquired PGP -- and its suits -- last year.

Down to business
The deal provides Network Associates with a new royalty-bearing license for RSA's encryption engine technology, and allows the company to include RSA components within several of its products. Network Associates, of Santa Clara, Calif., will also pay an undisclosed amount in licensing fees and attorneys' fees, the companies said.





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The total cost of the fees will come from an escrow fund created when Network Associates bought PGP. Thus, the settlement will not appear on Network Associates quarterly reports.

Under the agreement, Network Associates has licensed RSA's Bsafe and Bcert encryption tool kits for use in its PGP Client, PGP Certificate Server, and RecoverKey, Gauntlet Firewall, and Gauntlet VPN products.

"This will enable our products to really be interoperable with others that use RSA," said Al Sisto, chief operating officer for RSA.

Network Associates became the target of the lawsuits last year when it acquired PGP Inc., an encryption maker with a history of legal disputes with RSA, a unit of Security Dynamics Inc.

The latest of the suits was filed last month. RSA, based in Redwood City, Calif., sued to stop Network Associates' operating unit Trusted Information Systems from shipping any security software that deploys RSA technology.

Business breeds practicality
The settlement could smooth the waters between the two companies in their fight over the next-generation of e-mail security. RSA has long been pushing its de facto standard - known as S/MIME -- for secure e-mail. Both Microsoft and Netscape Communications Corp. have adopted the standard in the e-mail packages that accompany their respective browsers.

Network Associates, on the other hand, has been pushing its OpenPGP standard, and has made some headway -- the spec has been largely adopted by a key standards setting group, the Internet Engineering Task Force.

"We will be looking to embracing some of the S/MIME standards," said Peter Watkins, general manager and vice president of Network Associates' Net Tools Security.

Crypto maker RSA Data Security Inc. and networking products maker Network Associates Inc. (NETA) said Monday they settled patent infringement and copyright lawsuits brought by RSA.

The agreement resolves three lawsuits among the companies and cancels a court-ordered arbitration hearing.

The settlement could smooth the waters between the two companies in their fight over next-generation e-mail security.

"Network Associates is an adult company, they are not going to play a petty game based on ideology," said Bruce Schneier, president of security consultancy Counterpane Systems. "It is not surprising they settled."

RSA's original suit had been with crypto software creator Pretty Good Privacy Inc., which had pushed the government towards a more open encryption policy. Network Associates acquired PGP -- and its suits -- last year.

Down to business
The deal provides Network Associates with a new royalty-bearing license for RSA's encryption engine technology, and allows the company to include RSA components within several of its products. Network Associates, of Santa Clara, Calif., will also pay an undisclosed amount in licensing fees and attorneys' fees, the companies said.





'Crypto with a hole' conundrum has companies with international ties slowing their adoption of crypto technology.


Two giant crypto rivals, RSA and Network Associates, settled their patent and copyright dispute.


Exclusive: FBI's Freeh calls for crypto confab to chew over government-industry policy differences.




The total cost of the fees will come from an escrow fund created when Network Associates bought PGP. Thus, the settlement will not appear on Network Associates quarterly reports.

Under the agreement, Network Associates has licensed RSA's Bsafe and Bcert encryption tool kits for use in its PGP Client, PGP Certificate Server, and RecoverKey, Gauntlet Firewall, and Gauntlet VPN products.

"This will enable our products to really be interoperable with others that use RSA," said Al Sisto, chief operating officer for RSA.

Network Associates became the target of the lawsuits last year when it acquired PGP Inc., an encryption maker with a history of legal disputes with RSA, a unit of Security Dynamics Inc.

The latest of the suits was filed last month. RSA, based in Redwood City, Calif., sued to stop Network Associates' operating unit Trusted Information Systems from shipping any security software that deploys RSA technology.

Business breeds practicality
The settlement could smooth the waters between the two companies in their fight over the next-generation of e-mail security. RSA has long been pushing its de facto standard - known as S/MIME -- for secure e-mail. Both Microsoft and Netscape Communications Corp. have adopted the standard in the e-mail packages that accompany their respective browsers.

Network Associates, on the other hand, has been pushing its OpenPGP standard, and has made some headway -- the spec has been largely adopted by a key standards setting group, the Internet Engineering Task Force.

"We will be looking to embracing some of the S/MIME standards," said Peter Watkins, general manager and vice president of Network Associates' Net Tools Security.

Topics: Legal, Government, Microsoft, Patents, Security, Servers

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