Kaspersky sues Chinese rival for defamation

Security vendor Kaspersky Lab Ltd. has sued a Chinese antivirus software company for allegedly making false claims about Kasperky’s products and business practices.

The lawsuit was filed in a Chinese court against Rising Technology Co. Ltd., said Maxim Mitrokhin, Kaspersky’s territory development manager in China, via e-mail.

Kaspersky accuses Rising of violating Chinese law by telling users that Kaspersky’s software could damage their computers. In addition, it alleged that Rising defamed it by claiming the company engaged in anticompetitve practices and hired people to attack Rising in online forums and in the media.

“Both of these allegations are utter lies, and we are going to prove this in court,” Mitrokhin said. He did not say what kind of redress Kaspersky is seeking.

“We believe that such a massive libel campaign against our company was launched by Rising solely because of their concern about them losing market share in China and the rapid growth of our products’ sales,” Mitrokhin said.

The lawsuit escalates a war of words that Rising has waged against Kaspersky since May.

In a statement (in Chinese) released after Kaspersky’s lawsuit was filed, Rising called Kaspersky the “king of false positives.”

It detailed six instances where Kaspersky’s antivirus software allegedly misidentified system files from several programs as malware in recent weeks.

It also referred to a statement it released on May 23 entitled “22 serious false positives in six months, Kaspersky shows contempt for Chinese users” (in Chinese), that details false positives allegedly generated by Kaspersky’s software between November and May.

One of those alleged false positives involves a file from Rising’s own antivirus software. That false positive was discovered on May 19, according to Rising.

Kaspersky filed its suit last month in the Tianjin City No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, on behalf of its local office in China. The first hearing is scheduled for the last week of July, Mitrokhin said.

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