IBM (NYSE: IBM) today filed suit against LzLabs, saying the Switzerland-based company has violated IBM’s intellectual property rights by repeatedly infringing upon company patents protecting various aspects of IBM’s high-performance mainframe systems, a core technology that clients depend on for their most important workloads.
In the legal action filed in U.S. District Court in Waco, Texas, IBM asserts that LzLabs has also deliberately misappropriated IBM trade secrets by reverse engineering, reverse compiling and translating IBM software. IBM also alleges that LzLabs has made false and misleading claims about LzLabs’ products.
IBM is seeking relief that includes an injunction against LzLabs to prevent further unlawful use of IBM’s intellectual property and trade secrets.
LzLabs is owned and run by some of the same individuals who previously owned and ran Neon Enterprise Software, LLC of Austin, Texas. Neon previously attempted to free ride on IBM’s mainframe business, and prior litigation between IBM and Neon ended with a U.S. District Court permanently barring Neon and certain of its key employees from, among other things, reverse engineering, reverse compiling and translating certain IBM software, and also from continuing to distribute certain Neon software products.
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IBM has made significant investment in research and development in this critical technology field and will aggressively defend its investments and resulting patents against those who violate them, as LzLabs has now repeatedly done.
Patents infringed by LzLabs include:
- Two that describe methods embodied in IBM mainframe instructions that LzLabs must emulate with or translate into Intel x86 instructions,
- Two that describe methods of increasing emulation/translation efficiency that LzLabs must implement if it is to achieve optimized performance objectives; and
- One that describes a method related to the translation of IBM mainframe applications wherein IBM programs called by those applications are identified and an x86 substituted for each.