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Malwarebytes Wins Legal Tussle Against Alleged PUP-Maker

Malwarebytes is celebrating victory after a US judge ruled in its favor in a legal battle with a software company over potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).

District Judge Edward Davila dismissed Enigma Software Group’s case late last week after the firm had sued Malwarebytes for classifying two of its products as PUPs.

PUPs are often downloaded willingly by users but only because they’re linked to applications they genuinely want. PUPs often feature spyware and adware-type programs.

Enigma alleged “false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, tortious interference with contractual relations and tortious interference with business relations” after Malwarebytes blocked its SpyHunter and RegHunter tools.

However, the anti-malware vendor secured the legal victory after arguing that its actions are protected by the immunity provisions of the Communications Decency Act based on the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in “Zango, Inc. v. Kaspersky”.

That case saw Kaspersky Lab accused of a similar infraction by adware firm Zango — a case the Russian AV vendor won.

“The reality is that this is not only a critical win for Malwarebytes, but for all security providers who will continue to have legal protection to do what is right for their users,” said Malwarebytes co-founder Marcin Kleczynski in a statement. “This decision affirms our right to enable users by giving them a choice on what belongs on their machines and what doesn’t.”

SpyHunter is listed as an anti-spyware program for Windows PCs, however, users online complain of not being able to remove it once installed on their computers.

This isn’t the first lawsuit Engima has been involved in. It sued tech site Bleeping Computer in 2016 after it posted a negative review. Bleeping Computer sued back and eventually the two parties settled out of court.

It’s believed Enigma will appeal the California court’s decision in the Malwarebytes case.

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