CA accuses Rocket Software of source code theft

Company got code from former CA employees, it is alleged

CA is bringing a US$200 million (NZ$260 million) lawsuit against Rocket Software, saying Rocket stole intellectual property related to CA database management software products.

The suit, filed late yesterday in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, argues that Rocket has infringed CA copyrights, stolen trade secrets and practiced unfair competition.

A woman answering the phones at the offices of Rocket said she was instructed to say that Rocket had no comment on the matter at this time.

"The facts here demonstrate blatant misappropriation by Rocket of CA's intellectual property," says Gary Brown, CA's director of litigation. "We believe that Rocket's management not only condoned the conduct of its employees, but also made false and misleading statements to cover up this conduct. We will take all appropriate measures to protect our intellectual property."

In the 27-page complaint, CA says Rocket "knowingly and intentionally stole from CA the source code and development environment" to create many of Rocket's software tools for the IBM DB2 relational database management system. Rocket obtained the source code by hiring former CA programmers and developers or workers from Platinum Technology International, which CA acquired in 1999, the complaint says.

CA says Rocket continues to distribute DB2 tools that infringe CA's copyrights and that have defrauded CA of millions of dollars in the US$1.4 billion DB2 software tool market. In addition to seeking damages of at least US$200 million from Rocket, CA wants a judge to prevent Rocket from further distribution of Rocket's database management software.

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