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Trend sues rivals over Net virus detection

Trend Micro Inc. filed suit Wednesday against McAfee Associates Inc.

Trend Micro Inc. filed suit Wednesday against McAfee Associates Inc. and Symantec Corp., charging its competitors with infringement of Trend Micro anti-virus patents. The patents pertain to computer virus detection techniques for data carried over the Internet, electronic mail and groupware.

The products targeted in the complaint are McAfee's WebShield and GroupShield and Symantec's Norton AntiVirus Internet E-mail Gateway. Trend Micro filed the original patent in September 1995, officials said.

"Our shipping of InterScan, in May 1996, clearly pre-dates all of their products," said Robert Lowe, vice president of business development at Trend Micro, of Cupertino, Calif. "We are also looking at other companies and products to determine if they are infringing. And we will take the appropriate action."

Officials from Symantec, also based in Cupertino, and McAfee, of Santa Clara, Calif., say they have received the papers and are studying the lawsuit at this time.