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Judge - IBM must pay for Compuware software probe

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Compuware Corp. today has claimed a small victory in its lawsuit against IBM over software IP (intellectual property) issues with a court ordering IBM to pay costs related to the discovery of evidence.

Oddly, Compuware only today issued a statement about its "win" even though Magistrate Wallace Capel Jr. in Michigan delivered his order on Sept. 15. The judge sanctioned IBM for probable "gross negligence" in looking into software piracy issues. He also moved the trial date from November to January.

Compuware first filed the lawsuit against IBM in March of 2002. It claimed that IBM had copied its software tools and then used a monopoly position in the mainframe market to compete unfairly on software sales.

Compuware is upset that IBM claimed not to have the original source code of the software in question only to discover the code shortly before the matter was to go to trial. Court filings show that IBM had a tough time locating the old code, finding it eventually on a mainframe sitting in Perth, Australia. The judge took Compuware to task for continually filing emergency motions in the case and chastised IBM for what seemed to be delay tactics.

"IBM is going to pay the cost for this motion," the judge said. "They're going to pay the cost for the re-depositions of those and for the cost of the analysis on it."

IBM charged that Compuware put out a release about the decision at such a late date because it wants to "try the case in the media," according to the AP. IBM has filed six counterclaims against Compuware for patent infringement. ®

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