After initial courtroom sparring in Symantec’s trade secret lawsuit against Microsoft, the companies are now shaping up for the real fight.
A federal judge in Seattle on Tuesday approved an order that lets both parties in the case file documents under seal. They can now fully cooperate in gathering information pertinent to the case, since sensitive details won’t become public record. An actual trial, should it come down to that, is still far away, though. In a court filing last week, both Symantec and Microsoft suggested trial dates in December of next year.
The lawyers and the relevant folks at Symantec and Microsoft will stay busy for a year, but there won’t be any public entertainment.
Symantec sued Microsoft in May, accusing it of misappropriating intellectual property related to data storage technology. The case is part of a high-stakes battle in the software industry, where giant Microsoft is increasingly entering Symantec’s turf of security software.
Microsoft countersued in late June, alleging Symantec violated three of its patents. It also challenged the validity of the Symantec patent central to that company’s case.
Both moves are common in patent cases. Less common, however, is that Microsoft has also asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the Symantec patent.