INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: An Idea Worth $833 Million

An Idea Worth $833 Million

The dispute between IBM and Fujitsu, the most powerful Japanese firm in the mainframe-computer market, has been one of the biggest copyright battles ever. Last week arbitrators disclosed a settlement in the case, which began in 1982 when IBM accused Fujitsu of illegally copying Big Blue operating-system software to use in the Japanese manufacturer's IBM-compatible machines. Based on a secret accord reached a year ago, Fujitsu is paying IBM $833 million for use of the software. Until 1997, Fujitsu will also pay an annual fee that may reach $51 million next year.

Fujitsu will benefit by getting a limited look at...

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