Judge Halts Shipment of Norton Software

Bloomberg News

Symantec Corp. shares fell 13% after a judge ordered the maker of software that detects and treats computer bugs to stop shipping a newer version of its Norton Uninstall Deluxe program as well as the version he ordered recalled earlier this month. U.S. District Judge Jeremy Vogel, who had issued the preliminary injunction in CyberMedia Inc.'s 7-month-old suit against Symantec, added a temporary restraining order against sales of the new version, which Symantec claimed was developed in a "clean room" without access to the source code CyberMedia says was copied. Symantec said that in its $99 Norton SystemWorks utilities set, it would replace Uninstall with a free "Bonus Pack" of software including more than $500 worth of programs such as Norton Mobile Essentials and WinFax Lite. Cupertino-based Symantec's shares fell $2.13 to close at $14.13 on Nasdaq, after touching $13.50, its lowest level in more than a year. CyberMedia spokesman Jim Tolonen said the Santa Monica-based company, which was acquired by Symantec rival Network Associates Inc. last week, is "pleased that this clarifies the judge's earlier order, and solidifies CyberMedia's position as the market leader." Shares of Network Associates rose $2.44 to close at $40.13 on Nasdaq.

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