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BT Accuses Fortinet of Network Security Patent Infringement


BT, a Top 100 MSSP for 2017, has accused cybersecurity technology provider Fortinet of infringing on five patents related to network security. The company filed its complaint against Fortinet at the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on July 10, according to WIPR.

Fortinet has issued the following statement to MSSP Alert about BT's accusation: "Fortinet and other high-tech organizations routinely manage these types of litigations as a normal part of the business. We are reviewing the claim and believe it is without merit. We do not expect this litigation will have a material impact on our business."

A Closer Look at BT's Accusation Against Fortinet

BT contacted Fortinet in 2014 and claimed the company infringed on two of its patents-in-suit, WIPR reported. It also reached out to Fortinet on multiple occasions in 2015 and early 2016.

Fortinet responded to BT's communications via outside counsel in February 2016. The company did not provide any explanation about why its products did not infringe on BT's patents, WIPR indicated.

BT integrated Fortinet's FortiGate enterprise firewalls into its managed security services portfolio in July 2016. It currently is a Fortinet MSSP Platinum Partner and uses FortiGate to deliver firewall, application control, intrusion prevention, web content filtering, virtual private networking (VPN), spyware prevention and malware defense services.

BT and Fortinet: Here's What You Need to Know

As the UK's largest mobile network operator, BT provides information and communications technology (ICT) services to 5,500 multinational companies in 180 countries. BT also was named a Challenger in Gartner's "2017 Magic Quadrant for MSSPs" and offers network-based managed security services.

Fortinet delivers infrastructure security solutions across the following areas:

  • Advanced Threat Protection: Combat cyber threats to stop data loss and breaches.
  • Email Security: Safeguard end users against phishing, ransomware and other email-based attacks.
  • Endpoint Security: Protect endpoints across an organization.
  • Management and Analytics: Empower users with security administration and visibility capabilities across appliances, devices and networks.
  • Multi-Cloud Security: Limit the risk of cyberattacks against software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and public, private and hybrid clouds.
  • Network Security: Deliver security coverage and visibility across an organization's attack surface.
  • Secure Unified Access: Provide application, device and network management capabilities.
  • Web Application Security: Protect users against web application-based attacks.

Fortinet has more than 350,000 customers, according to the company. In addition, Fortinet had 515 issued patents and 263 pending patents as of May 8, 2018.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.