IBM Buys Platform Solutions, Ends Dispute

Big Blue drops patent claims by acquiring software company.

Hardware maker IBM (NYSE: IBM) said on Wednesday it has bought privately held software maker Platform Solutions, and the two companies have dropped their legal complaints against each other.

No financial terms were disclosed.

In December 2006, IBM sued Platform Solutions, charging that the company, which makes software that can run on IBM's high-end mainframe computers, violated patents IBM holds on some of its operating systems.

In January 2007, Platform Solutions countersued, alleging IBM engaged in unfair competition. Platform Solutions also denied it had violated IBM's patents.

Later that year, Platform Solutions also filed a complaint with the European Commission, alleging that IBM violated an EC prohibition on abuse of market dominance by refusing to supply interface information relating to mainframe computers and refusing to license third parties.

IBM responded by saying it would be bringing Platform Solutions' alleged intellectual property violations to the EC's attention.

On Wednesday, IBM said it had acquired the company, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.

"As part of this acquisition, both IBM and PSI dropped their respective claims against each other," IBM said in a statement.

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