Compuware to sue Big Blue

Compuware has filed suit against IBM for allegedly misappropriating and using Compuware's intellectual property in its mainframe products.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  March 13, 2002

Compuware has filed suit against IBM for allegedly misappropriating and using Compuware's intellectual property in its mainframe products. The Compuware complaint also contends that IBM has illegally used its monopoly power in mainframe hardware and software products to compete unfairly in the software tools markets and that Big Blue is in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

"We have been considering this distressing issue for quite some time and regrettably concluded that Compuware was required to take this action in order to protect the interests of the company, its customers, and its shareholders," says Joseph Nathan, president of Compuware.

"IBM has attempted to enter the mainframe software tools market and compete with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) by misappropriating Compuware's source code and even copying our user manual. We are filing this lawsuit in an effort to stop IBM's illegal practices and promote open competition in the ISV marketplace," he adds.

Although Compuware is a leading ISV for IBM mainframes and distributed networks, it believes that IBM has misused the code in its attempts capture more revenue within the ISV market for itself.

“IBM has begun leveraging its market dominance in mainframe computing in a monopolistic effort to capture revenues from the important and strategic ISV sector. IBM's actions threaten to interfere with the important product innovations provided by Compuware and other ISVs,” comments Nathan.

In addition to the accusation of misappropriation, the vendor has accused IBM Global Services of steering clients away from its products and suggesting IBM kit instead.

“Our sole mission with the lawsuit is to ask the courts to require fair play in the marketplace so that mainframe customers are free to select the software tools that provide the best value and performance," concludes Nathan.

While the local implications of the suit are yet to be revealed, one industry source suggests that this is yet another case of a smaller company chasing a market leader. IBM is yet to issue a statement on the matter.

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