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July 22, 1991

…AS IT ADDS COMPUTER ASSOCIATES TO COMDISCO SUIT

By CBR Staff Writer

The army of lawyers employed by IBM Corp and its IBM Credit Corp unit reckon they have now found the right door to knock on in the Delaware court building and have refiled their suit against Comdisco Inc in the Superior Court of Delaware – but they have also amended the complaint to include Computer Associates Inc, a customer of IBM Credit, in the charges. The complaint is that Comdisco reconfigured IBM mainframes owned by IBM Credit to the point where they couldn’t be reconfigured in their original form when they came back off lease – IBM insists that only the actual parts, rather than ones of equal value, must be in the system when it takes it back, Computer Associates has been included in order to expedite the court proceedings, since a victory for IBM would set a precedent for all similar cases. Comdisco has committed to the Delaware Court that if its conduct is found to be unlawful, it will halt its taking and remarketing of IBM Credit equipment without IBM Credit’s consent. In the specific case, parts of an IBM 3090, including two thermal conduction modules and 128Mb of expanded storage and associated equipment were removed, then sold or leased in violation of IBM Credit’s lease and sub-lease agreements. Some of these parts were eventually traced to various locations in the US and Europe. Earlier this month, the Chancery Court, in which the suit was originally filed delivered an embarrassing decision on the competence of IBM’s lawyers by ruling that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and gave IBM Credit Corp 20 days in which to refile the suit in the Sup erior Court (CI No 1,711).

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