NEON loses lawsuit against IBM and withdraws zPrime
On May 31, 2011, NEON announced that it has settled its legal dispute with IBM and will immediately withdraw zPrime from the market. NEON will no longer market, sell, license (including any renewal or extension of any existing license), install, distribute, export, import, offer to sell, offer to license, offer to install, offer to distribute, offer to export or offer to import zPrime.
Refer to http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/enterprise-IT-tech-trends/understanding-srb-the-possible-key-of-zprime-neon-vs-ibm-lawsuits/ for details on the contention between IBM and NEON.
The U.S. District Court has ruled that:
- only workloads expressly authorized by IBM may be processed on Specialty Engines (including zIIPs and zAAPs) and
- IBM’s contracts, including the IBM Customer Agreement and the License Agreement for Machine Code, prohibit software (a) that enables workloads not expressly authorized by IBM to be processed on Specialty Engines or (b) that circumvents IBM’s technological measures in Machine Code that protect the Built-in Capacity of Specialty Engines and enables workloads not expressly authorized by IBM to be processed on Specialty Engines.
Neon has agreed to a permanent injunction under which it will withdraw zPrime from the market and request that licensees and customers remove and destroy their copies of zPrime.
The dispute has ended between IBM and Neon quite soon – much against the predictions of analysts including Gartner that this would be a long drawn affair. NEON announcement points out that, other NEON products are not affected by this settlement.
It is pointed out that the legal dispute was settled with no payments having been made by either party to the other as part of the settlement. But it is not yet clear about the implication of costs incurred by customers on zPrime.
While IBM has won the lawsuit, it should understand the mainframe customers need (more than 50 of them have been using zPrime) in saving costs. It is hoped that IBM would go further and help its customers in exploiting the specialty processors more effectively and also come up with licensing option in such a way as to retain the mainframe customers in the long run.