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Trend Micro Draws Boycott Over AV Patent Case

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the going-the-way-of-the-scosco dept.

Software 151

Linux.com is reporting that in addition to the bad press, Trend Micro's patent case against Barracuda Networks' use of ClamAV has drawn an apparent boycott of Trend Micro. "Dutch free knowledge and culture advocacy group ScriptumLibre called for 'a worldwide boycott on Trend Micro products.' In its news release, ScriptumLibre summarizes the case, with its chairman, Wiebe van der Worp, describing Trend Micro's actions as 'well beyond the borders of decency.' The ScriptumLibre site includes link to free graphics that supporters can add to their Web pages to show their support and a call for IT professionals that provides a links to help people to educate themselves about the case and suggests a series of actions that people can take in the boycott." Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by SourceForge Inc.

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fristy posty (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385010)

and trend micro sucks.

Trend Micro, huh? (1)

Pres. Ronald Reagan (659566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385016)

People still use that piece of garbage? Unfortunate.

So when you say "draws boycott" (5, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385020)

What you mean is a couple of random people have mooted a boycott. Well I'm sure Trend will issue a profit warning to investors post haste.

Mooted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385208)

"What you mean is a couple of random people have mooted a boycott."

You keep using that work "mooted". I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:Mooted? (2, Informative)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385324)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mooted [reference.com]

Look up the meaning as a transitive verb. As a kind gesture I even used one of them colonial dictionaries that I assume represents your cultural persuasion. Some guys representing nobody in particular saying "Oh hay guys, maybe we shouldn't use Trend" is hardly an example of mass agreement from the throngs.

Re:Mooted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385784)

Look up the meaning as a transitive verb. As a kind gesture I even used one of them colonial dictionaries that I assume represents your cultural persuasion. Some guys representing nobody in particular saying "Oh hay guys, maybe we shouldn't use Trend" is hardly an example of mass agreement from the throngs.

In other words you were using "mooted" to show off your superior intellect?
After all very few outside of a law office would understand that meaning.

Borderline troll.

Re:Mooted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22386468)

Look up the meaning as a transitive verb.

That meaning of the word is not used in colloquial speech; if you do use it that way, you (1) risk being misunderstood, and (2) mostly show that you don't understand usage and language levels.

Re:Mooted? (2, Informative)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389328)

Not so - it is used quite frequently although perhaps not in your own country. In the UK it has no specific connection with legal matters.

Yikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22386826)

You remind me of when Dan Quayle spelled Potato as Potatoe and then tried to demonstrate that his spelling was correct in the right dictionary. When you have to go to the 3rd meaning in the lower slobovian/english dictionary to try to prove you're correct, it's like you're the geek who tries to use big words to prove you're smarter than everyone else.

Let me give you a little hint.
    "A few people have discussed a boycott"
or perhaps you meant
    "A few people have mounted a boycott"

Either one is clearer. Either gets your point across better.

Mooted. Blech. The word turns my stomach unless you use the word "moot" to talk about a point.

Re:Yikes (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388910)

Either one is clearer. Either gets your point across better.

No, "mooted" is the correct word to use here, and is perfectly clear. I know most Americans are functionally illiterate, but I'd have expected better from the /. readership.

Re:Yikes (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389072)

At first glance, I knew what was said. I wasn't sure if the word was accurate, but I knew what was said (having heard the word "moot" ought to do it). -> the boycott was doomed, a fruitless exercise. A small stretch to add something of value to my understanding of English. (which, isn't all that great, anyways) But, I'd be willing to bet the both of you excel at scrabble, where the rest of us don't.

Re:Yikes (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389310)

I'd be willing to bet the both of you excel at scrabble

I don't. I'm too dyslexic for Scrabble.

Re:Mooted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385428)

Maybe he meant some Ents were boycotting.

Re:Mooted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22387226)

I get it, I get it!! :D

Re:So when you say "draws boycott" (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385674)

Not just random but a dutch free culture group! Stop the presses! Also college students are skipping class for the insert_some_injustice_here! And as we all know college students love to going to class and free dutch culture groups love buying Trend Micro!

Re:So when you say "draws boycott" (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389132)

It's as if thousands of Trend Micro shareholders suddenly cried out in terror, and then were suddenly silenced - when they realized that this call for a worldwide boycott would result in no discernible effect. Then it was as if thousands of voices cried out in laughter...

Re:So when you say "draws boycott" (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389274)

I'm Dutch.
I know several Dutch "freedom-of-whatever" advocacy groups yet I've never heard of either this group or the person behind it.
They're nobody.

Look no further than SCO (5, Insightful)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385048)

If you want to see how the open source world responds to threats, look no further than SCO. Many Linux fans are also Unix admins at work, and many of them got their employers to switch from SCO to *anything other Unix-like OS* in response to the threats. Now SCO is in bankruptcy and not likely to come out.

Re:Look no further than SCO (1)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385130)

While I agree with that, I think the fact that SCO stopped producing anything significant and started hiring lawyers also had something to do with their increasingly dire financial situation.

Re:Look no further than SCO (1, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385218)

While I would not go as far as to say that was the cause only of the SCO downfall... A number of FOSS geeks are influential in a lot of purchasing decisions for both business and home users. And there are a LOT of good AV programs.

That's great for patent trolls that make something (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385328)

What about the one's that don't? I think we should boycott the law.

Re:Look no further than SCO (2, Interesting)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385898)

As a former SCO Unix admin at work I was using their products the whole time. Although I did hate them for their draconian licensing scheme, they didn't go out of business due to admin lobbying. They went out of business because Linux came along and offered a competitive product at a better price (free).

It was all about the money. Isn't it always? We could buy cheap PC hardware and run SCO, and even though I hated it, it was much cheaper than buying an expensive Sun machine and a support license.

Even if I had LOVED SCO, their licensing restrictions weren't terrible, their customer service had been excellent (it wasn't) etc.... Linux still would've killed them. It will eventually kill Sun too, at least as we know them.

Sun will be alright (0, Offtopic)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386610)

I don't know about Sun... I've run OpenSolaris this summer for ZFS (which, BTW absolutely rocks!), and it felt like baby sitting a 4 year old. However, Sun does sell awesome hardware/OS packages (albeit very expensive) and really does have a nice modular enterprise software stack. I think they'll end up becoming an IBM, grow old and respected community member making good revenue consulting and doing high end systems. Then again, they are still holding their own with Java and netbeans (ironically, IBM's eclipse community is looking to netbeans as a desired direction for GUI design), so I wouldn't count them off the desktop any time too soon. BTW, it just hit me, whatever happened to JavaFX?

Re:Sun will be alright (0, Offtopic)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387058)

I know this is getting slightly off topic but how does openSolaris compare to other Unix-like OSs? I'm kinda curious how it runs and am tempted to try it next time I need to upgrade.

Re:Look no further than SCO (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389622)

If you want to see how the open source world responds to threats, look no further than SCO. Many Linux fans are also Unix admins at work, and many of them got their employers to switch from SCO to *anything other Unix-like OS* in response to the threats.

This could also have had something to do with SCO not doing much to develop their product and Linux being able to run SCO binaries.

Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (5, Informative)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385104)

Isn't it time people start boycotting _all_ commercial antivirus programs?

The business model for most of these companies is nothing more than extortion (ie. pay up on your Norton subscription or we'll trash your Windows install).

Many OEM computers come with AV programs out of the box that are only good for several months. My aunt's computer was like this (a Dell). She's not very technical, so she didn't realize that she had to pay to keep something working that came free with her computer. After the "free trial" was up, Norton silently died leaving her computer vulnerable to all sorts of nasties (no firewall, on AOL dialup, yuck). The Norton uninstall program often does not work, leaving many of Nortons "hooks" still installed in the OS.

I've said it many times, all you need is a router and some common sense (not using Internet Explorer helps). If you really can't help clicking on "free ipod" ads, then fine use an antivirus program, but for god's sake don't use Norton, Trend Micro, or any of the subscription based crap that's out there.

And yes, I realize this article is not about Norton, but Norton and Trend Micro are in the same boat IMO.

The only good thing Trend Micro has ever made is their "House Call" virus scanner in Java. It's a nice way to clean up trashed pc's without having to install software (most PC's have Java already installed nowadays).

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385158)

After the "free trial" was up, Norton silently died

And lo, everyone on the website knew not to believe a single word you say, from now unto eternity.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

Kinnaird (851535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385952)

Hahahaha my subscription is up I am being none to silently hounded as we speak!

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386368)

You had Norton on your computer for more than two weeks and you can still access the internet? How did that happen? But surely it vaporized your system tray, didn't it? Maybe the entire taskbar or perhaps even the task manager?

I wish I was kidding, but after having seen the logic bombs Symantec calls antivirus software expect any machine running them to develop random issues like complete freezing of all NICs. Although, to be honest, crap like the taskbar disappearing is usually only caused by their uninstaller (but in my opinion it happens pretty consistently).

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (2, Informative)

Atti K. (1169503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385180)

The only antivirus I ever used, since the DOS era up to now on XP is F-Prot. No bloat, small and lightweight. Never had a virus. And of course, a router and common sense helps a lot.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (5, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385350)

Unfortunately, a lot of people don't have "common sense." "Common sense" is quite uncommon among people who haven't grown up with computers. My mom, if it were not for me, would have no clue how to prevent viruses, adware, spyware, etc.

Of course, I remove Norton almost automatically when fixing computers, because it slows it down almost as much as a virus, in my experience.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387826)

"Common sense" is quite uncommon among people who haven't grown up with computers.
Common sense is often uncommon among many people who _have_ grown up around computers. Just last week a 22 yr old came to me quiet concerned about a hoax virus email until I pointed out that 1. The AFP (Australian Federal Police) would not email them, 2. Spam is illegal so the AFP would not tell them to email everyone they knew (which they had already done) and 3. If it was so bad why hadn't this been on the news?

This person was 22 and I know they posses the ability to apply common sense to real life situations (OK they weren't a genius but I would never say that they were stupid) but somehow when a computer is involved their ability to think rationally seems to be absent.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388974)

I meant "common sense" to refer to common sense regarding computers... but your point is taken nonetheless.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385232)

Isn't it time people start boycotting _all_ commercial antivirus programs?

Which ones on this list http://www.av-comparatives.org/ [av-comparatives.org] do you have in mind ?

Or (to make it easier for you) which ones have you not ?

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385782)

http://www.moonsecure.com/ [moonsecure.com] is what I recommend to people, it has on execute and uses clamav but you can plug the anti-virus engine of your choice in.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385862)

Interesting that ClamAV seems to be left out of most anti-virus comparisons,

I would think that ClamAV would be sortof the defacto standard that you have to be better than to get someone to spend money. Oh, well we all know the reasons for it, but it sort of sucks anyways.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (2, Funny)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387590)

"I would think that Kaspersky would be sortof the defacto standard that you have to be better than to get someone to spend money. Oh well, we all know the reasons for it, but ClamAV sort of sucks anyway."
There, fixed that for you.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386964)

AVG Anti-Virus is good. Free for personal use, isn't full of bloat like Symantec or Mcafee and installs cleanly (uninstalling I dont know about since I have never uninstalled it)

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22389060)

When AVG cease preventing me from installing on my non-commercial, not-making-me-any-money-whatsoever (and entirely legal!) copy of Win2K Server just because it has "Server" in the name, I'll cease telling them that they can suck a big, fat testicle. Arseholes.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389628)

I have the same problem with a (free) MSDNAA edition of Server 2003. Even the decent anti-virus vendors won't let you run on server without paying hundreds of pounds / month.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385292)

Commercial is not always bad. Some users do not have a clue, so they need to rent one from support. However, the pre-installed extortion-ware than does not cleanly remove is reason enough to boycott McAntic for life.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385650)

Mod parent -1 Troll

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385794)

just use ubuntu, no common sense required

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (4, Informative)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385968)

Wow what a load of crap. Norton AV does not silently die when it expires it becomes more noisy than Windows Vista. People are fully aware that the subscription is up and it gives you instructions on how to renew it. My Dell laptop has a HUGE popup every time I log in even when I just shut the lid and keep the thing powered on.

You do realize that one of the major reasons you can pick up your cheapo dell/hp etc computer is the "Trialware" software on those boxes. They receive money to carry the software and in some cases receive more money to not carry someone else's software.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (3, Informative)

coolbox (1011563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389092)

Seeing as we're on the subject of Symantec I'll clue you all in to what is probably the finest piece of Software they've ever released. It's called Norton_Removal_Tool.exe, Search for it on their site. It's guaranteed to increase your PC's reliability and speed by several orders of magnitude. It does this by blasting away every trace of their AV / Internet security bloatware.

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385994)

The Norton uninstall program often does not work, leaving many of Nortons "hooks" still installed in the OS.
I can attest to this. Not only does the uninstaller do this on occasion (especially if you're installing the last of several Norton products) but there are many viruses that target Norton specifically, disabling its AV functionality without uninstalling it. Either way, the next time you try to install another vendor's program the installer usually stops you in your tracks, proclaiming that Norton is still alive and kicking on your machine, yet you are unable to uninstall it in its undead limbo state.

For the record, been using the freeward version of Avast [avast.com] for years and it's served me very well.

Boycott all commercial AV software? No ! (3, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386432)

I don't think this would be at all reasonable. Boycotting Trend Micro software is something I'd agree with though.

However, much as I like Open Source Software in general, I consider it perfectly OK if people decide to use commercial, closed-source, anti-virus software. I would urge them to (re)consider using such software in favour of OSS, but if they wish, for whatever reason, to spend their money on closed-source anti-virus software, then best of luck to them (and the producers of closed-source AV software).

What galls me in this case is the unfair way in which Trend Micro uses a blindingly obvious patent they somehow got their hands on to squeeze an OSS competitor out of the market. The patent, basically the idea of having a virus scanner on gateway servers to a network that scans incoming files as they are being transmitted, is of course trivial.

Why?

The idea that in order to prevent infected files from entering a network, you can do the checks "at the border", i.e. in the gateway server, is about as obvious as the idea of keeping a place dry by having a roof and 4 walls. Since the incoming files aren't stored on the gateway server but immediately forwarded, the only thing you can do is to stream the incoming file through an AV scanner. Patenting an "invention" like that is of course only possible in the US.

Unfortunately the law says that even such patents have force, so an unscrupulous commercial AV vendor (Trend Micro) can use it to sue people for doing this.

That's why I'd support a boycott of Trend Micro. Not because they're closed-source vendors, but because they behave like thugs.

Re:Boycott all commercial AV software? No ! (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388344)

Oohhh, thanks for the idea! *runs off to patent having 5 or more walls and a roof keeping the water out* I'm sure I can twist that to apply to any building that isn't a perfect rectangle...

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387784)

pay up on your Norton subscription or we'll trash your Windows install

I thought Norton automatically trashed your Windows install as soon as you install it...

Re:Boycott all commercial antivirus programs? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389844)

Perhaps you could suggest an "active" antivirus program that is f/oss for windows? I mean, you can use clamwin, and there are tools to kludge it to scan every file accessed, but it's not exactly a clean setup. Just asking, as I may be missing something here... Also, Norton 2008 is much better than the versions from the past several years in terms of overhead, still not my fav though, and wouldn't touch MacAfee... I usually use AVG or Nod32 myself...

When you fail to stop innovating... (2)

winkydink (650484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385124)

litigate

Re:When you fail to stop innovating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385166)

...don't you mean....when you stop innovating....or when you fail to innovate?

Re:When you fail to stop innovating... (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385526)

yes, thank you

Is this uh disturbing fad, or uh (2, Funny)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385140)

disturbing Trend?

Highly Illegal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385162)

One could surmise that Slashdot is participating in the boycott of a US corporation. This is a HIGHLY illegal act on the part of any US corporation, and I have reported Sourceforce, Inc to the SEC for further investigation.

"The Press" are allowed to report "News" (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385404)

It's not illegal for corporations which engage in journalism to report the news, even when it's news of a boycott. Thanks for playing, please try again.

Re:"The Press" are allowed to report "News" (1)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385684)

Right, JS. There is nothing in the summary printed by Slashdot that suggests boycotting Trend Micro. Any talk of boycotting is in the comments that /.'ers are making about the subject. Of course, I doubt that the SEC will pay much attention to anyone too cowardly to reveal his/her name.

Re:Highly Illegal (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385424)

They might be officially American but in reality they are a Taiwanese company.

Re:Highly Illegal (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386322)

One could surmise that Slashdot is participating in the boycott of a US corporation. This is a HIGHLY illegal act on the part of any US corporation,

Gee, what planet are you from? Obviously one without a constitution.

Bruce

Alternatives (4, Interesting)

Solitude (30003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385220)

I've been evaluating their client server product for SMB for a week now. I need about 75 licenses to replace our aging Symantec Corporate 7. I was a couple of days away from purchasing 75 licenses for one company and 10 for another, but then this. I vote with my dollars and if my research shows their claims are BS, they just lost 85 2-year licenses.

Re:Alternatives (4, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385332)

For the record, I do not think GriSoft has sued anyone this week. And AVG is quite good in the enterprise.

Re:Alternatives (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387426)

AVG is awesome for home users. I really should send them money sometime.

Barracuda Networks products are not open source (1)

ThinkTwice (1163901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385680)

Barracuda Networks uses open source, but as far as I can may invalidate Trend's patent and that is a good thing for the open source community, but he's not doing it for the open source community, he's doing it to protect his companies profits. Barracuda Networks doesn't give away anything.

When Sun got sued by NetApps over open source ZFS, which they do give away, did you see them run crying to the open source community for help?

That is just one example of a real contributor being sued, but there I'm sure there are a ton of others.

Dean, if you want help, maybe you should think about giving something back to the open source community.

Re:Barracuda Networks products are not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22386048)

not sure your point. sun is bigger then barracuda. sun has their own patent portfolio. they can defend themselves.

personally, i'm happy that barracuda is fighting it at all instead of just paying extortion fees.

Re:Alternatives (1)

Jagungal (36053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385830)

You should consider sticking with what you have or looking for other alternatives to Trend whether they do things like this or not. I have used both, Symantec in a previous job and now Trend in a new job. Virus protection in a corporate environment in a necessary evil - and Symantec's Corporate product is far better than the Trend rubbish.

Trends latest Client Server product is a major memory hog and its web based administration tools can only be described as slow and painful.

Trend acknowledges their problems with excessive memory usage and their answer is that you should install more memory on your computers and that they are looking at fixing the problems in the future.

This patent case only enforces how hard I will push to change to another product when these licenses expire.

Re:Alternatives (1)

Solitude (30003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386228)

I would love to stick with what I have, but let's just say they're not quite in compliance when it comes to licensing. Not to mention all the clients are set up in unmanaged mode and there's no central management server installed. I just started here so I'm trying to get them legit. At my previous job I inherited a NAV Corporate (7 or 8) install. It worked okay so I'm just looking for something like it that I can get running that's low maintenance so I can get moving on to other things. I've been evaluating Trend Micro and it seemed to do the job... I was literally hours away from ordering it (this afternoon or tomorrow).

I thought about just ordering the licenses for the newest version of Symantec Corporate and continuing to use what I have. I figure that's legit enough. I so thoroughly despise their consumer products, though, that I was looking for another company to throw our money at. I'm taking a look at the AVG user guide right now. I have to say I wasn't too impressed with Trend Micro's administrative web interface either.

Re:Alternatives (1)

stevenbdjr (539653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387348)

I've been using Trend's products for years but have recently been swayed by ESET's NOD32 product. I've got it installed in two of my small business clients and so far it's very nice. Small footprint, nice interface, good centralized control. The only thing I'm not jazzed about yet is their Exchange product, which is fairly rudimentary.

Oddly, I've begun moving away from Trend not because of these lawsuits, but because of the growing bloat of the client program, something Trend used to be quite good at compared to McAfee and Symantec. My current installs of Trend OfficeScan clients consume about 70MB of RAM, which is just disgusting. In comparison, NOD32 Business Edition (AV and AS) consume about 20MB total. Very light.

Usual disclaimers apply - I'm not affiliated nor am I a reseller of either Trend or NOD32, just a happy admin.

it has a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22385316)

Boycott? Is that what they call it? Well then, after hearing this outrages news, I plan to CONTINUE my boycott of Trend products....

Patents are anti-competitive (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385358)

Patents worked when it was about the small time inventor and they help start up companies. Once the industry giants and well established companies get hold of patents they use them in an anti-competitive manner.

Software patents are the easiest to code around but can be the hardest to judge when they go to court.

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (3, Insightful)

automandc (196618) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386096)

The parent post is remarkably uninformed and reflects a poor understanding of the patent system and how it is used.

First of all, patents have always been the domain of big business. One of the reasons many of the "founding fathers" were so suspicious of the patent system was that patents granted by the King were government granted monopolies given to particular large corporations, usually as a political favor. Whoever had the "patent" on the tea kettle became the only tea kettle maker in England until someone convinced the King otherwise. Thus, the U.S. Constitution was written to specifically limited to allow patents only "for a limited time" (Art. I, section 8, cl. 8). This was the answer to the uneasy tension between giving an incentive to create while not granting perpetual monopolies. Thomas Jefferson, himself an inventor, recognized that patents are a necessary incentive to invent, which enriches society.

The antithesis of patents is trade secrets. If I have a trade secret (e.g., the mythical recipe of Coca-Cola), I don't have to tell any one else how to make it, and as long as I am really good at keeping the secret the world will never find out -- hence, there will always be only one "Coke" even though there might be other "colas".

By having a patent system, the entire world gets to learn about your new invention, possibly improve on or build on your idea, and after a period of time they get to copy it themselves (or, they can license it and avoid the wait).

Moreover, today's technology is such that, in many fields, it is simply unrealistic to think that real progress could be made by individuals working alone. For example, no person puttering in their basement is going to come up with a new process for fabbing microchips, or a new drug that is proven safe in humans -- those things require lots and lots of resources that only corporations or other institutions (e.g., Universities) can afford. Even Thomas Edison, the prototypical "inventor" had an army of technicians and assistants working for him by the end of his life.

Patents are not "evil," nor are corporations that participate in the patent system. There are, however, a lot of bad patents out there right now (for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this post). However, a company that has a "bad" patent cannot be faulted for trying to enforce it -- they are simply trying to protect their business interests (yes, business is cut-throat; get over it). Theoretically, the courts are supposed to take care of the bad patents. The fact that the courts may be failing is not the fault of the businesses that are seeking to protect their own interests.

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386266)

What you wrote was the intent of the patent system, but not the reality. Engineers in tech companies are routinely told not to look at patents, because of the treble-damages problem or what I call the penalty for looking, damages three times as high for "knowing" infringement rather than unknowing. This makes the disclosure function of a patent inoperable. In addition, the claims of patents are written to capture as many possible applications as possible, even ones that had not been invented by the filer of the patent. This requires vagueness in the claims and further reduces the probability that they actually disclose anything of use. Indeed, the language generally used in patent claims is not particularly readable by engineers in the applicable discipline. One need only attempt to read a few patents for this to be clear. Thus, trade secret is not the antithesis of patent. A release of Open Source software is much closer to the antithesis of trade secret because it is a working and usually comprehensible implementation. Patents generally go hand-in-hand with closed-source software, and the source of that software is legally treated as a trade secret. Finally, in software, the duration of patents is so long compared to the duration of a generation of technology that there is no useful art remaining by the time the patent goes into the public domain.

Surely you must be aware of these issues.

Bruce

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (1)

automandc (196618) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386896)

Yes, I am "aware" of these "issues." We both agree that it is a flaw in practice and not a flaw in design. The parent post to which I was responding suggested that all patents are ipso facto bad -- I was merely trying to point out that there is a sensible purpose behind the system and that purpose is not antithetical to corporate involvement.

I agree that many modern patents are poorly written, and that the current state of the patent law provides every incentive to write them badly. I am a litigator (not a patent prosecutor or general patent lawyer), and no matter which side of a case I'm on I always find myself arguing that the patent doesn't mean what it actually says (the same thing happens with contracts written by non-litigators). However, I get a little weary of the "engineers are pure as driven snow" attitude. I have never seen an inventor get on the stand and admit that the patent doesn't say what the company now claims it says. They either lie through their teeth (even when they no longer work for the corporate patentee), or they simply get amnesia and refuse to testify. Lawyers only facilitate a bad patent system; it is the engineers who can't be bothered to get involved -- or, worse yet, cynically use the flaws to their own advantage -- and then blame the lawyers that are the root of the problem. I also tend to note that the engineers that do get involved in patent cases typically get paid as well as, if not better than, the lawyers (they call themselves "experts" but they always seem to be able to say whatever the lawyers already thought).

I would also point out that I was not responding to the parent post as specific to software patents, which are a special breed of bad. However, addressing some of your specific points:

(1) Your point about Open Source is specific to the software realm. My point was about the incentive granted by the patent system: limited period of exclusivity in exchange for public disclosure. Trade secrets give you no protection against someone else discovering the same thing, but you don't have to disclose your discovery/invention. Most open source licenses (particularly the GPL) are not the antithesis of either patents or trade secrets because they require disclosure (like patents) and grant no exclusivity to the original author (like trade secrets). I don't say that as a criticism, OSS is simply a third way of treating intellectual property. It has features of both trade secrets and patents, but is skewed to the public good (i.e., share and share alike), with only a tangential benefit to the initial creator. Patent and Trade secrets both seek to balance public good against personal gain, and each favors the individual gain in a different way.

(2) Any company that thinks it can avoid a willful patent infringement claim by telling their engineers not to look at patents needs to question whether their corporate counsel is serving them or the other way around. (Copyright is a different story, pardon the pun, hence the emphasis on "patent").

(3) I don't agree that patents are always longer than the current "generation of technology." Look at GIF, MP3, recalc etc. Those technologies continue to flourish and will continue long after their patents have expired. If anything, we should prefer patents over copyright, which lasts a heckuva lot longer than patents.

Go ahead, flame away, I've got tough skin. :)

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (3, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387962)

Go ahead, flame away, I've got tough skin. :)
This is a rhetorical strategy: Label your opponents as flamers and some folks will see them that way. Spare us, please.

The parent post to which I was responding suggested that all patents are ipso facto bad
He's commenting about a software patent. That's what the article is about. There are compelling arguments that software patents are a mistake.

However, I get a little weary of the "engineers are pure as driven snow" attitude.
The pure-as-snow ones don't become expert witnesses and are not generally asked to testify for the prosecution in an infringement case. However, given the last time the USPTO prosecuted a case of perjury on the application (1974, and the enforcement department no longer exists), it doesn't seem that there is any incentive for purity.

Patent and Trade secrets both seek to balance public good against personal gain
Yes, but we're back to the intent again. In the case of software patents, rather than a balance all of the incentives seem to be for the bad actor.

(2) Any company that thinks it can avoid a willful patent infringement claim by telling their engineers not to look at patents needs to question whether their corporate counsel is serving them or the other way around.
I'm not sure the counsel think that's all that needs to be done to protect the company, but it is standard direction for engineers in tech companies. I've had it at HP (internal counsel) Pixar (Wilson Sonsini, Larry Sonsini was our direct counsel) and it is at the standard at many companies.

I don't agree that patents are always longer than the current "generation of technology." Look at GIF, MP3, recalc etc.
GIF is a legacy technology and the specific patent, the Unisys - Terry Welch algorithm to preload tables in the Lempel-Ziv compressor, was arguably trivial and was far from the state of the art when it expired. MP3 seems to be encumbered by patents still in force but not from its inventors. If I understand what recalc you are taking about, I'd make a case it is trivial and pre-existed the patent.

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (1)

automandc (196618) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388380)

He's commenting about a software patent. That's what the article is about. There are compelling arguments that software patents are a mistake.

The first paragraph of the parent was not specific to software patents. The fact that it begins "Patents" while the second paragraph specifies "Software patents" makes it clear that the author believes that all patents only "work" for the small inventor and so-called "start-ups." My response was on-point and not limited by a "software" only view of the universe. I agree that there are "compelling arguments" why software patents (at least in their present form) are a bad thing. However, I am not prepared to categorically declare all software unpatentable.

The pure-as-snow ones don't become expert witnesses and are not generally asked to testify for the prosecution in an infringement case.

I have employed numerous experts who were eminent engineers in their field, hold significant positions at top academic institutions, and have excellent reputations amongst their colleagues for honesty, integrity and good science. Those same experts, having never seen the patent before, can talk themselves into the position put forward by the attorneys presenting the case. It is the nature of the beast -- someone truly unbiased (i.e., with no preconceived ideas) is merely a clean slate for the advocate to convince. So your generalization about the sorts of engineers and scientists who become expert witnesses is no more valid (or academically rigorous) than the general Slashdot derision for all things legal.

However, given the last time the USPTO prosecuted a case of perjury on the application (1974, and the enforcement department no longer exists), it doesn't seem that there is any incentive for purity.

We are not talking about representations made to the patent office (although those can always be dealt with by invalidating the patent for fraud, which happens not-too-infrequently). Once again, the system isn't really designed to catch so-called "bad" applications at the PTO -- it is designed to have bad patents thrown out in court. Perjury before the court is not the domain of the patent office -- it is the domain of the court (and, if rising to a criminal level, the U.S. Attorney). However, there is "perjury" and there is "perjury." How can someone perjure themselves when giving an opinion? After all, that's what experts do: they merely offer their opinions -- it is up to the court to weigh and accept one over the other. The problem, again, is not that there are bad experts or bad lawyers -- its that the entire system is designed to only police bad patents after the fact, and to do it using the least technical people involved (i.e., the courts, lawyers, and even lay jurors). It would be much better to have patents truly and rigorously examined and vetted prior to granting, but no one has yet proposed a workable (and affordable) way to do that, so the political will simply hasn't materialized.

In the case of software patents, rather than a balance all of the incentives seem to be for the bad actor.

Sorry, that's nice "rhetoric" but I don't see any basis for the statement. Yes, software patents may be a species particularly prone to erroneous granting due to the highly technical (and somewhat new and constantly evolving) state of the art (meaning a lack of truly qualified examiners), but how does that change the fundamental incentives? You have to disclose your method to the world, which can read and benefit from it (if the patent is well written), and you get a period of exclusivity. And who are the "bad actors" you mean? Just because software IP is your particular windmill doesn't necessarily make it public enemy number one. A strong argument could be made that the flaws in the patent system do more harm in the market for prescription drugs, where people literally die every day due to the artificial monopolies granted on life saving medicines they cannot afford. At the same time, one could argue that there would be far fewer life saving drugs if there was no financial incentive to develop them.

I'm not sure the counsel think that's all that needs to be done to protect the company, but it is standard direction for engineers in tech companies.
It sounds like the type of advice a lazy or stupid lawyer would give (and there are no shortage of either category). Just because a specific engineer wasn't aware of a previous patent would mean next to nothing in the willfulness analysis. Willfulness can arise simply by continuing to infringe after being told of the existence of the patent. Rather than avoid willfulness, such advice may actually be intended to avoid arguments of anticipation and obviousness -- if you didn't read patent X, you won't cite it to the examiner, and hopefully he/she will overlook it during the application. But if that reference later comes to light and wasn't before the examiner, then you lose any presumptions of validity, and it is probably worse, not better. Actually, I shouldn't even try to guess at what motivates bad legal advice, but willful ignorance is never a good legal strategy. Frankly, I've met lawyers from several of the organizations you name, and am no more impressed than with any other corporate lawyers. As for Wilson Sonsini, I'll let the public record on the quality of their legal advice speak for itself. All I will say is that being a good Silicon Valley lawyer is like being a Good Silicon valley startup -- it means a whole lot to the people who live there, and leaves most other people wondering where the substance is.

GIF is a legacy technology and the specific patent, the Unisys - Terry Welch algorithm to preload tables in the Lempel-Ziv compressor...
Yes yes, you know so much more about the technical minutiae of software patents -- if I ever need to litigate them I will give you a call to see if you are available to testify. My point stands: people still use GIFs, even if they are disfavored or even deprecated; the MP3 patents still inhibit the use of that format, regardless of the "inventors" opinions on the matter.

This is a rhetorical strategy: Label your opponents as flamers and some folks will see them that way. Spare us, please.

Spare rhetoric on /.? Why, pray tell, would anyone do that? I thought that was the entire point of the exercise. But, if it makes you feel any better, my fiery prediction was not directed to you -- it was in anticipation of the usual

What kind of belly lint are you smoking?
post suggesting that lawyers are all evil, the MPAA and RIAA have bribed the entire U.S. Congress and (now) the PTO to boot, yada yada yada. But mostly it was a jest (hence the :) I would say "lighten up", but you would probably accuse me of oratorical chicanery. ;-)

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388922)

The first paragraph of the parent was not specific to software patents.
You are asking for too much precision from a correspondent who is not used to arguing in a courtroom. The discussion here regarding patents is usually specific to software, and this discussion is specific to software.

Those same experts, having never seen the patent before, can talk themselves into the position put forward by the attorneys presenting the case.
I have a telephone lecture entitled you don't want me to write my report, and you don't want to ask why that I use for customers whose case my finding does not support. They appreciate hearing it that way, thank me, and pay my bill.

We are not talking about representations made to the patent office (although those can always be dealt with by invalidating the patent for fraud, which happens not-too-infrequently).
Yes, but where is the peril for the bad actor? They know they can lie on their application and never be charged.

Once again, the system isn't really designed to catch so-called "bad" applications at the PTO -- it is designed to have bad patents thrown out in court.
This is a full-employment act for patent attorneys, and unfortunately results in an abridgement of justice for the defendant. The last time I checked, the American Intellectual Property Law Association's Annual Economic Report was quoting USD$3 Million to USD$7 Million for defense in a single software patent case. For individuals and small or medium-sized enterprises, which make up the vast majority of the tech economy, there could only be a Phyrric victory because they'd exhaust their funds. Their only real choice is to settle under whatever terms the plaintiff offers.

Perjury before the court is not the domain of the patent office -- it is the domain of the court (and, if rising to a criminal level, the U.S. Attorney).
The patent application includes an oath explicitly under 18 USC 1001, the same law covering sworn testimony in court, which applies equally to matters in all three bodies of government. There are standing patents in which the claimed inventor can not have believed the matter was actually an invention. There are also patents in which documentation exists that the claimed inventor had knowledge of prior art not listed on the application. USPTO has standing to bring a case before the U.S. Attorney when such offenses happen, and yet does not. Nor have I heard of a court that after hearing an infringement case refers a case of perjury on the application for prosecution.

How can someone perjure themselves when giving an opinion?
There is no shortage of perjury cases against experts.

A strong argument could be made that the flaws in the patent system do more harm in the market for prescription drugs, where people literally die every day due to the artificial monopolies granted on life saving medicines they cannot afford.
Yes, the prescription drug system is broken, but with the current system only a patent monopoly provides the monetary incentive that can support getting over the FDA hurdle. The process of drug approval is front-loaded to the tune of about a Billion dollars. You need that much money before you start making a profit. Contrast it to software, in which the front-loading on the cost of development is the cost of a laptop and a developer's time - we're still seeing significant products coming out of individual developers and of course Open Source teams.

Now, consider the economics of production and competition of those two very different fields. Most businesses fail. Even when a business does not fail, most have different ideas. We're going to get the maximal delivery of innovation in software to the citizen if the most possible businesses are able to implement each algorithm. In contrast, we're not going to get drugs delivered at all under the current structure without that monopoly. So, I submit that since the economics are so different, it makes little sense to apply the same scheme of patenting to both fields.

Yes yes, you know so much more about the technical minutiae of software patents
Rhetoric again. The patents you offered as examples were not particularly good ones because of their flaws. It's actually difficult to find good examples among software patents.

my fiery prediction was not directed to you -- it was in anticipation of the usual
If you're going to attend a conventions of pugilists wearing a t-shirt emblazoned "hit me", there's not much point in complaining about the blows.

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22386320)

There is only one "coke" partially because of trade secrets, but mostly because a duplicate competitor would have nothing by which to distinguish themselves. "Coke but cheaper" might sell for a while, but you would be fighting against an established brand, and you would have the disadvantage on economies of scale. You would be nowhere near the profitability of real coke unless you ramped up your operations and charged the same amount, making an early exit from the business probable.

Even with a price difference, you also miss out on being able to claim "more refreshing" or "preferred 2 to 1" or really any sort of image-based campaign. "Just like coke, except not really".

Coke could let the recipe out at this point and although some people would try to make their own, not everyone has access to the necessary ingredients or machinery. Existing beverage companies would, but again no real advantage. Certainly no knock-off company would be as successful.

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386626)

What kind of belly lint are you smoking?

A business seeking to "protect its own interests" *can* be faulted if it does so maliciously. Restraint of trade, trigger happy litigation, espionage, and sabotage are all ways a company can "play dirty". It's one of the reasons we have laws against monopolization, stealing trade secrets, initiating a frivolous lawsuit, and any number of other "fouls" in the modern sport of business.

Is it ok for someone to take what they want if they do so by holding a gun to your head or a knife to your throat? No it is not. Business is vicious, and filled with greedy bastards who would just as soon beat you up and take your lunch money as they would be to hold up someone's grandmother. Heck, it's probably the same survival/machismo/oneupmanship/rivalry mentality that makes people.

But business is NOT supposed to be dishonest, sleazy, or dirty. Companies can and do get in big trouble every day for not playing by the rules.

Cases in point: SCO, Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA, ESA, BSA, Enron

To be more specific, if a patent is bad, a company can be bad for trying to enforce it in some cases, particularly if the company itself is responsible for the bad patent being upheld. Bribe a judge? Bribe the PTO to overlook obviousness? Bully your competition/victims into settling? Those are all nasty, and they are all illegal.

Which is why organizations like the EFF are going on patent busting crusades.

Yes, business is hell. But even in the most vicious of drag out slugfests, a referee still keeps things under control and ideally makes sure that everyone plays fair.

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (1)

automandc (196618) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387416)

Yes, anti-competitive behavior can be punished when it uses means beyond what the policy makers have decided is "kosher." But that doesn't diminish the fact that businesses still have lots of perfectly legal anticompetitive tools at their disposal. Patents are a case in point -- the entire purpose of a patent is to exclude all competition from a certain field for a limited period. That is not illegal -- just the opposite, it is the law at work.

Your conspiracy theories about bribing the PTO and/or the federal courts indicates a poor understanding of how the "system" works. Most of the poor decisions in patent law are driven by engineers willing to whore their Ph.D's to the highest bidder. Don't act like it is only the lawyers -- at least we acknowledge that we are partisan advocates; we don't cloak ourselves in some mystical nobility of "scientific objectiveness."

But, yes, bad cases do happen -- SCO being case in point. SCO wasn't wrong for asserting a bad patent -- they were wrong for claiming ownership to something they didn't own to begin with, which is a very different story. And all you lawyer haters out there ought to realize that Novell won that case because they had very careful lawyers who wrote pretty good (not great) contracts.

The way the current patent system is set up the PTO is expected to grant bad patents, and the only way they get weeded out is through litigation. This was what the Supreme Court described in the important 1969 case of Lear v. Adkins in which it held that a patent licensee cannot waive its right to challenge the validity of a patent because it is those licensees who are expected to be "private attorneys general" who will challenge and overturn bad patents in the courts. Unfortunately, since that time, not only has technology become much more complex (and the number of different fields much more varied), but the costs of litigation have gone through the roof, the courts have become clogged with cases, and the number of patents granted has soared. All of these factors have created a "perfect storm" in the patent system whereby the mechanism that was intended to act as the corrective force (private litigation) has become so expensive that there is much less incentive to fight a patent assertion rather than just pay greenmail in the form of license fees. It is bad all around (yes, lawyers and others are getting rich, but those of us who practice law for more than just the money, which is more lawyers than you might believe, lament the sorry state of the law. I do not know a single patent attorney who believes the system is "working").

Re:Patents are anti-competitive (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389982)

Patents worked when it was about the small time inventor and they help start up companies. Once the industry giants and well established companies get hold of patents they use them in an anti-competitive manner.

Even having a patent probably isn't of that much use to the "small inventor"/startup. If an established player just takes your invention they probably have enough spare cash to tie the case up in court for a while.

So will there ever be a legitimate patent to you? (2, Insightful)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385498)

Trend Micro is not a patent troll, they are a legitimate company who patented a process that they developed. Now they are exercising their rights as a patent holder. So why the hate? This is what the patent system is designed to do.

Re:So will there ever be a legitimate patent to yo (4, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385810)

Trend Micro is not a patent troll, they are a legitimate company who patented a process that they developed. Now they are exercising their rights as a patent holder. So why the hate? This is what the patent system is designed to do.

As I understand it, the patent involves filtering viruses before they make it to end user computers; eg. at the router/mail relay etc. The reason for the hate is that this is an obvious way to prevent viruses from entering your network. The hate is not so much aimed at Trend Micro as it is at the broken patent. However, the fact that Trend Micro is suing their competition using a broken patent as ammo is not going to earn Trend Micro any kudos.

Re:So will there ever be a legitimate patent to yo (2, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386514)

Trend Micro is not a patent troll, they are a legitimate company who patented a process that they developed.

They didn't "patent a process", they have patented an entire category of applications, and one that they did not invent.

Re:So will there ever be a legitimate patent to yo (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387510)

Stupid question:

Who did invent the category?

Re:So will there ever be a legitimate patent to yo (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388408)

Many people, really. Read the discussion of prior art last time this came up here. Nobody should have been granted a patent on something this broad. If they had had a particular, clever method for actually doing the detection faster or more reliably, then that might have warranted a patent.

Re:So will there ever be a legitimate patent to yo (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387842)

Software patents are IMHO something that should not exist. Copyright makes far more sense than vague patents that usually can be stewed down to "anything at all to solve problem A".

And in other news.... (0, Troll)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385670)

...Darl McBride CEO of SCO Group has been heard repeatedly sending messages to Steve Chang, CEO of Trend Micro, offering to sell the rights to Linux for use in this litigation. Quote McBride, "It's a real steal..."

--bornagainpenguin

I would boycott Trend Micro, except... (2, Insightful)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22385790)

I already have a firm policy of not buying from them because their products are crap and their technical support can be spectacularly unhelpful. They end-of-lifed a product that barely worked (the original Viruswall for Linux) and forced us to migrate by discontinuing virus signature updates. The product they replaced it with (VirusWall SMB for Linux) crashed on a daily-to-hourly basis, and over a period of weeks my repeated cries for help were basically ignored. We replaced their product with a Linux box running ClamAV and Postfix, which has run flawlessly ever since. No wonder they've turned to litigation.

As a Trend Product User (1)

BulletMagnet (600525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386658)

I could care less. For all intents and purposes, Trend's software and hardware (Yes, they do build appliances) is, in my opinion, is the best option going for real AV protection. It catches what it can catch, does not bog down your box and when/if you need to remove it, it goes away with ZERO fuss, far unlike that of McAfee and Symantec products. Trend did have some issues on the consumer payware download where they sort of hid the fact they would re-charge your credit card next year for your renewal and you needed to jump through hoops to undo that, but have since fixed it and when you go to purchase it, there's a link to decide how long you want to renew and if you want to auto-renew/charge your card. As far as their being called a patent troll by the FOSS community...I think people forgot what a real troll is - Like NTP or the group has recently begun to sue every smartphone manufacturer under the sun (it was on /. a week or so ago). Trend writes the software and builds the hardware they patented. Good for them. Sue Clam if they ripped you off and choose not to license your technology *like most of the major players in the AV industry is currently doing*. They have every right to protect their patent which isn't some vague idea they're camping on but are are actively developing against. Last time I checked, that's what patents were for.

Re:As a Trend Product User (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388012)

Two things. My last serious brush with Trend products in a network I was called in to fix featured a lovely GUI that let you know how many dozens of bugbears and bagels were on "protected" machines with up to date virus signatures on the network but did not appear to have any way to remove it from the antivirus program or stop machines getting reinfected. It was a case of shutting down all of 100+ workstations, clean them individually with a DOS based tool on a boot floppy, and not reconnect them to the network until every one of them was done. When one was missed and it reinfected the lot it had to be repeated on all of them. When somebody brought a laptop in the same thing happened and it had to be repeated on all of them. When a forgotten machine that had been in storage for three months was brought back onto the network it had to be repeated - once again on all of them. I got a little biased against Trend at this point.

The second thing is that I disagree with somebody patenting somebody else's work after it has become standard practice. Software patents do not apply outside of the USA anyway and make little sense when copyright already exists.

Their linux antivirus sucked anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22387038)

Its been a good few years, but as i remember their Linux software had some severe issues. The ones that leapt out at me were:

Completely braindead installer.
Defaulted to putting logs, signatures and the like in /etc/
Defaulted to acting as an open relay.

Sure, those are system configuration issues that any admin should be able to deal with in short order. But its a sign of a product that has been written/designed by people with no real experience with the OS they are developing for.

Any site we installed this software at ended up having more issues due to it being in place than they did with running a copy of Norton/AVG/etc on each PC. The only reason we installed it in the first place was due to conslutants trying to make their reseller fee's.

Email the company (1)

joetainment (891917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387388)

If you are planning to boycott them, as I am, send an email letting them know. If they get enough of those, they'll start to notice.

Who cares? (0, Redundant)

Yeorwned (1233604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22387774)

ClamAV is another defective security suite that does nothing but fuel the ignorant wanna-be poweruser...if you want to be cheap, at least get a free product that has commercial backing such as Avast.

Re:Who cares? (1)

gentgeen (653418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388224)

ClamAV is another defective security suite that does nothing but fuel the ignorant wanna-be poweruser...if you want to be cheap, at least get a free product that has commercial backing such as Avast.

The previous post is brought to you by another, defective ignorant wanna-be poweruser.

Last I checked, ClamAV IS NOT a "security suite" - is it an Anti Virus scanner. Nothing more.

What evidence to you have that it is defective? This short ClamAV user-base [clamav.org] seems to find it to be effective enough to actually write about their success. And many on this list are not little SO-HO / Hobby companies.

My guess, your only experience with ClamAV is on the desktop. Where I would agree it is not the best choice for "Joe Six Pack". Where it shines on the server/gateway. How many servers do you admin? What is your user base on those servers? How much experience do you have with sever side AV?

Please bring facts next time, and keep your trolling to yourself.

Re:Who cares? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22388494)

Ummm... since when is ClamAV a security suite? I think you have no clue what you're talking about. A suite is a group of tools doing multiple different jobs, yet they work together. Like a firewall and an antivirus program being rolled into one "suite". ClamAV does... antivirus. And that's it. End of story. ClamAV is very good at what it does (especially relative to all the competitors in the field), it's lightweight, updated often, easy to use and install, exceptionally flexible in it's application, and it just works.

Feel free to correct any misapprehensions I may have, though... what exactly is it that Avast does better than ClamAV? Runs on Linux? No, that can't be it... free? Nope, Avast is only free for home use only (not even non-commercial use is allowed). Can it be chained into an email server? Nope. I can't really see any reason that Avast is significantly better than ClamAV for anyone other than grandma.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22388934)

I recommend Avast over Clam for windows users because I can set it to run as the n00b user's screen saver, a feature Clam doesn't have, the only annoyance with avast free home is that it still has to be activated, sure, the activation is free, but having to walk grandma through the reregistration is a pain. But that combined with Spybot Search and Destroy's update, immunize and check for spyware at system start means I have to deal with the n00b users less often.

Oh and FYI, Avast does have a linux version on their site, haven't used it, but this is slashdot you know, you're supposed to know this before you post.

Yes, I have tried to get grandma and most other n00bs on Ubuntu or OS X with limited success, out of around 40 n00bs I've got 5 OS X converts, 11 Ubuntu users and 2 that hated Ubuntu and wanted windows back. I use OS X and Ubuntu Studio myself.

Trend Micro alternative. (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389130)

I'm in charge of anti virus security at my company and we have more then 2000+ clients. Can anyone suggest and alternative to Trend Micro? I have tested some anti-virus products but most fail at central management.

Preaching to the choir. (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389216)

I agree that Trend Micro's behavior is bad. However, the only people that will know about this boycott, and the only people who will understand the problem are technical people, and technical people already don't use Trend Micro's products.

Pretending to boycott?!? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389246)

Why are there so many people who, as professionals in our industry are wont, have already made the decision not to use Trend Micro's products due to their functional deficiencies pretending like they're going to "boycott" them because of their ethically questionable business practices (founded on their sketchy patent)?!?

Do we really need these kinds of crusades to feel better about our participation in society? I feel like I need to go on some kind of religiously-zealous war against you guys.

If irony was strawberries I'd be drinking a lot of smoothies right now...

They sue their competitors users! (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 6 years ago | (#22389744)

Would you support a company that sued its competitors users?

SCO sued their own customers which is one thing, but if the bad trend of sueing your competitors users takes hold it will be bad for commerce all round as no-one will want to buy any software for fear of having their expected return on investment nullified.

Trend's bad trend is bad for global software business and all software businesses should sit on trend until they stop damaging the markingplace which is the last thing we need in the current economy.

Sam

PcCillin is pure shite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22389754)

Well, Trend Micro Antivirus is pure shit, so they have to sue others to earn some money. This is the difference between an engineering company and a lawyers/financial managers driven company.
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