Compuware Files Antitrust Suit Against IBM

Compuware claims Big Blue illegally used its source code and used its monopoly power to unlawfully compete in the market for mainframe software tools.

Compuware Corp. on Tuesday filed suit against IBM claiming Big Blue illegally used Compuwares source code and that IBM used its monopoly power to unlawfully compete in the market for mainframe software tools.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Michigan, alleges anti-competitive practices and unlawful tying on IBMs part in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In a statement, Joseph Nathan, president of Compuware, said the Farmington Hills, Mich., company has 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."

Nathan added that "IBM has attempted to enter the mainframe software tools market and compete with independent software vendors (ISVs) by misappropriating Compuwares source code and even copying our user manual. We are filing this lawsuit in an attempt to stop IBMs illegal practices and promote open competition in the ISV marketplace."

An IBM spokeswoman said the Armonk, N.Y., company does not comment on pending litigation.

Specifically, Compuware claims IBM illegally used portions of Compuwares copyrighted software for IBMs File Manager and Fault Analyzer products. Compuware contends that the IBM products have the same limitations and bugs found in Compuwares products, indicating the source code has been copied, the company said. In addition, Compuware said the user manual for IBMs File Manager contains portions that are "nearly verbatim" copies to passages in Compuwares manuals.

Also, Compuware said IBM has tied the purchase of certain mainframe software tools to purchases of IBM software products. "This practice threatens to substantially foreclose competition on the merits and interfere with customer choice in each such market," Compuware said in a statement.

Compuware also claims IBM has embarked on an anti-competitive scheme of cutting off the sharing of pre-release software and data to Compuware now that it has begun to compete with the company.