Anti-virus vendor McAfee filed a defamation and trade libel action today against Symantec Corporation, asking for $1 billion in damages. The two companies make the most popular anti-virus software on the market and have lately been at each other's throats but publicly and privately.

Earlier this year, Symantec sued McAfee, alleging that the company had stolen code from Norton AntiVirus to use in their own VirusScan. McAfee denies the accusation.

Symantec released a statement earlier this week stating, "In a press release earlier today...McAfee admitted that its products contain code misappropriated from Symantec Corporation." This statement prompted McAfee to sue.

"We hope...to achieve an end to the lies and innuendo and misrepresentation of the information," said Zach Nelson, McAfee's General Manager. "Symantec has tried to look like a boy scout, and it looks like we're really dealing with a Freddy Krueger on this one.