IBM sues Informix

IBM sues Informix

IBM has filed a lawsuit against software vendor Informix claiming the Californian company infringed on six IBM patents related to database software, distributed processing and data compression technologies.

IBM's patents, granted between 1981 and 1992, are for database servers, locking, referential constraint within a database and networking, according to the lawsuit filed in a US District Court.

But none of the eight Informix products listed as infringing on IBM's patents relate to the technology covered by those patents, said Michael Stonebraker, Informix's chief technology officer.

An Informix front-end tool, with no locking capabilities or data compression, was listed in the lawsuit as infringing on IBM's patents for those technologies, said Stonebraker.

"These are our old servers. They're not picking on our new systems. If there's something they're trying to head off, they should go after our new products, not our old ones," Stonebraker said. "I don't get it."

It's "rare" for IBM to initiate lawsuits, said IBM spokeswoman Carol Makovich. The company is seeking treble damages and compensation.

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