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Symantec Files Intellectual Property Suit Against Microsoft

Security software maker Symantec Corp. accused Microsoft Corp. in a federal lawsuit Thursday of misappropriating its intellectual property and breach of contract.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop Microsoft from selling the next version of its Windows operating system, due out to consumers next year, until the technology is removed. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

The dispute is over a technology that allows operating systems to handle large amounts of data.

Symantec, based in Cupertino, Calif., acquired the technology through its acquisition of Veritas Software Corp. last year. Veritas and Redmond-based Microsoft had signed a licensing agreement, but Symantec claims the terms were violated.

In a statement released by its public relations firm, Microsoft said the lawsuit stems from "a very narrow disagreement over terms of a 1996 contract with Veritas" and that the company had tried unsuccessfully to resolve it out of court. Microsoft called the lawsuit's claims unfounded.

Symantec, which makes the Norton software to protect computers from Internet attacks, has traditionally been a Microsoft partner. But Microsoft is preparing to release its own Internet security products, pitting the software giant directly against Symantec and others.

Microsoft shares rose 10 cents to close at $22.83 Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Symantec shares fell 8 cents to close at $16.24.

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