Feeds

Small software firm wins $28.4m after lobbing sueball at LOCKHEED MARTIN

Unfair competition: Jury rules firm was shut out of F-16 fighter jet manual market

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Titchy software company Command Technology has managed to win $24.8m in a settlement from the mighty Lockheed Martin for unfair competition.

In a David-and-Goliath story, Command sued Lockheed after being kept out of work making software for the 4,500 F-16 fighter jets that have been sold to US military and other countries.

A jury in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Montgomery County decided that Lockheed had competed unfairly and had injured Command, according to a verdict sheet seen by Reuters.

Lockheed said it was disappointed with the result.

"We believe that it will not stand after post-trial review by the circuit court or on appeal," spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

Command developed electronic maintenance manuals for the F-16 jets, which Lockheed then said didn't pass tests for the US Air Force, the company said in its complaint. The jury also found Lockheed to have "tortiously interfered" with Command's "economic relationships".

Lockheed then went on to work with another software firm, InfoTrust Group, to develop its own rival product. InfoTrust is also being sued by Command and has launched its own suit against Lockheed.

Command said that Lockheed was trying to block its product from the F-16 market because Command threatens to topple the giant from its spot as the primary provider of maintenance for the the weapons it builds - a spot that brings in billions of dollars in associated sales.

The small software firm claimed that Lockheed and other weapons-makers were trying to restrict access to technical data for warplanes and other combat systems so they can charge the US Air Force and other military bodies for electronic access to the information.

It accused Lockheed of using its proprietary information, which it handed over to allow testing of its C2Web platform, to build its own platform. Command claimed that in its software, mechanics could choose any parts for a fix, while in the Lockheed system, people could only choose the aerospace giant's spare parts.

The company also claimed that Lockheed, BAE Systems and other suppliers had interfered with its platform and led other potential users to believe that the C2Web system couldn't be used for F-16s. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.