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June 1, 2020
Business International Tech

Intel, John McAfee settle lawsuits over antivirus pioneer’s name

Image: FILE PHOTO – Computer software pioneer John McAfee speaks with reporters outside his hotel in Miami Beach, Florida December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – John McAfee, the creator of eponymous antivirus computer software, has settled a lawsuit against Intel Corp <INTC.O> over his right to use his name on other projects after the chipmaker bought his former company.

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan dismissed McAfee’s September 2016 lawsuit and a countersuit by Intel on Wednesday, five days after a settlement agreement was signed.

McAfee said he sued after Intel warned him that using his name, including by renaming his digital gaming and cybersecurity company MGT Capital Investments Inc <MGTI.PK> as “John McAfee Global Technologies Inc,” would infringe its trademarks.

Intel countered by accusing McAfee of trademark infringement and unfair competition, and sought unspecified damages.

Under the settlement, McAfee agreed not to use his name, trademark his name or the phrase “John McAfee Privacy Phone,” or use “John McAfee Global Technologies” in connection with cybersecurity- and security-related products and services.

He retained the right in other contexts to use his name in advertising, promotions and presentations, including with regard to his role at McAfee Associates, which he sold to Intel for $7.7 billion in 2010.

Neither McAfee nor Intel admitted wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which was amicable, according to court papers.

McAfee’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Intel said the Santa Clara, California-based company was pleased to settle.

Intel spun off its cybersecurity division, now called McAfee LLC, in April, after agreeing to sell a 51 percent stake to private investment firm TPG Capital.

TPG later accepted a minority investment in the business from private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

Intel retained a 49 percent stake in McAfee, which the spinoff valued at $4.2 billion including debt.

John McAfee unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the U.S. presidency last year.

The case is McAfee et al v Intel Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-06934.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Grant McCool)

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