IBM UK is being sued for more than #100,000 in damages for allegedly #100,000 in compensation. infringing a consultant's copyright.
Duncan International, a packaging house which provides the services of consultant Duncan Ogilvie, is suing IBM for damages over instructions on creating a Website. From 1993 until last year, Ogilvie acted as consultant for IBM's monthly magazine and its associated Website.
However, according to the High Court writ, in February 1997 he was approached by his IBM contact Steve Kirkwood, who said IBM was concerned about what would happen to the magazine and Website if Ogilvie was 'run over by a bus' and it was agreed that Ogilvie would produce a precise process document.
But at the end of 1997, IBM invited tenders to provide the news for the IBM magazine and sent copies of the document to all tenderers, setting out the work required. Ogilvie tendered for the work but the contract was awarded to another third party.
The writ claimed that IBM had infringed the copyright of the document and that Duncan International relied on the reproduction of the document in the original electronic versions. The writ also stated that IBM had disclosed and misused confidential information supplied to it.
These alleged acts of infringement were committed flagrantly, entitling Duncan International to additional damages of more than #100,000, according to the writ.
Duncan International is suing IBM for an injunction restraining it from disclosing or misusing information in the document and from authorising others to do so. The injunction covers the delivery of all infringing copies, documents and materials for use, supply or disclosure of the document.
The company is also seeking damages for copyright infringement, additional statutory damages and damages for misuse and disclosure of confidential information, as well as payment of all sums found due plus interest. Duncan International is also seeking interest due on late payment of invoices.
IBM was unavailable for comment.
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