IBM recently filed a lawsuit against its former partner Micro Focus. In the lawsuit, IBM claimed that Micro Focus violated their cooperation agreement when selling its “Micro Focus Network Service”, illegally copied and reverse engineered IBM’s software, and infringed patented by IBM.
Note: Micro Focus is a UK-based multinational software and information technology company founded in 1976. Micro Focus was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005 and has cooperated with IBM for more than 20 years (the cooperation agreement was terminated in August).
The lawsuit centers on the Web Service Binding File, a software format used by IBM to map data, which is copyrighted. IBM contends that Micro Focus copied the format’s file structure and some other features in violation of IBM’s intellectual property rights.
“These striking similarities indicate that Micro Focus copied elements of IBM’s copyrighted work and that Micro Focus created at least one derivative work in Micro Focus Enterprise Developer and Micro Focus Enterprise Server,” IBM’s complaint reads. “
In IBM’s view, Micro Focus obtained its code through a partner program that allowed partners limited use of IBM intellectual property, and in IBM’s view, Micro Focus obtained the code through this opportunity to create its own products and collaborate with IBM competes.
IBM is actively seeking damages, as well as a court order to prohibit Micro Focus from selling the illegally copied software.
Micro Focus also issued a public statement in response to the lawsuit:
In our opinion, IBM’s claims are completely baseless. Micro Focus has been innovating for customers for over 40 years, and we will vigorously defend our intellectual property. We look forward to addressing what we believe to be baseless allegations through all available legal avenues.
Micro Focus is also currently working on a $6 billion acquisition by Canadian firm OpenText, the statement added, with OpenText’s proposed acquisition of Micro Focus and the receipt of related regulatory approvals on track for the first quarter of 2023. The lawsuit is not expected to have an impact on the closing of the transaction.
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