The latest twist in the ongoing legal dispute between anti-virus software makers McAfee Associates and Symantec is a US$1 billion defamation and trade libel suit filed by McAfee against Symantec in California Superior Court.
The companies' legal sparring began in April when Symantec said McAfee's PC Medic software contained code identical to Symantec's CrashGuard and therefore infringed on its copyright.
With that action still pending, Symantec last Thursday issued a statement saying "McAfee [has] admitted that Symantec code is actually present in its flagship product ... [which] compounds McAfee's earlier admission that it had engaged in copying of the core functionality of Symantec's Crashguard product, and had inserted it into its own PC Medic product."
Symantec also said McAfee employees may have engaged in illegal destruction of evidence relevant to the ongoing dispute.
McAfee blasted back on Friday with the $1 billion defamation and trade libel suit. In a statement from the company, McAfee said Symantec "blatantly lies about the facts of ongoing litigation between the companies." McAfee said it never admitted that Symantec code is present in its product, but rather that its product contained nonfunctional code "found in the public domain."