Mich. software firm sues IBM

March 13, 2002 at 2:07 PM
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DETROIT, March 13 (UPI) -- A suburban Detroit software maker is accusing IBM of stealing its software secrets and monopolizing the market.

Compuware Corp. of Farmington Hills, Mich., filed suit in U.S. District Court, accusing IBM of copying code for its mainframes and forcing customers to use IBM mainframe products exclusively. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and an agreement from IBM to stop engaging in illegal practices.

IBM had no comment on the suit, which was filed Tuesday.

Compuware says its mainframe software sales account for about 35 percent of its $2.01 billion in annual revenue. The company and IBM are partners in a computer system developed for Ford Motor Co. Compuware said it has been gathering evidence since 1999.

"We wouldn't have done this if we didn't think we could win," Compuware president Joe Nathan told Wednesday's Detroit Free Press. "We believe we are correct, a jury will understand and we will win."

In the meantime, Nathan said his company plans to remain a customer of IBM's and hopes IBM will remain one of its customers.

The lawsuit accuses IBM of copyright infringement related to file manager and fault analyzer products -- including their glitches -- and accuses Big Blue of engaging in an anticompetitive scheme by stopping the practice of supplying data to other software developers who want to produce products for IBM equipment.

The Justice Department investigated IBM in the 1970s for monopolistic practices but no action was taken.

Topics: Joe Nathan
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