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Lawsuit alleges cloak-and-dagger conspiracy by Software AG

Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service | March 25, 2011
Middleware giant Software AG conducted an elaborate corporate espionage scheme replete with "sex, lies and an audiotape," according to allegations in a lawsuit filed by RFID (radio frequency identification) vendor GlobeRanger.

The Navy AIT was planning to implement an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system and therefore the RFID implementation needed to be re-architected, according to GlobeRanger. The company spent some months working up a proposal on the new architecture and gave it to Bacon as well as two contractors for the Navy, it adds.

A week later, Gray and Jack Rhyne of Main Sail "were inexplicably in possession of an RFID system Architecture for one of the most complex enterprises in the world -- the United States Navy," it states.

"Despite the fact that GlobeRanger was deployed with massive success across the DOD, Naniq and Main Sail, with the knowledge and consent of Bob Bacon, instead turned to Software AG, who did not even have a commercial RFID Solution at the time, to build the system under 'their' Architecture," it adds.

In May 2009, Software AG "stepped from the shadows to pursue a contract from Navy AIT to develop an RFID solution for the Navy, with Naniq and Main Sail's support," the complaint states.

Despite the fact that Software AG "was not even close" to developing its own RFID platform at the time, Bacon nonetheless issued a purchase order to Software AG," it adds.

However, this was only the opening move in Software AG's plan, GlobeRanger alleged. "It was more about the opportunity to be gained -- an opportunity to commit the theft of GlobeRanger's RFID solution."

Bacon set up a lab at Navy AIT's quarters in Mechanicsburg, Penn., where Software AG, Naniq and Main Sail began working together, according to the complaint.

"Software AG was at point zero" with RFID technology, it states. "It had taken GlobeRanger a decade to develop the GlobeRanger RFID Solution. Yet Software AG had, incredibly, agreed to develop its own in a matter of months. Software AG thought it could make this timeline because it had already agreed with Naniq, Main Sail, and Bob Bacon to steal the GlobeRanger RFID Solution."

Via "a series of lies," Software AG obtained what it needed, according to the complaint. For one, Bacon asked GlobeRanger for some product license keys, "ostensibly for support of existing Navy-GlobeRanger sites."

The defendants used the license keys to circumvent security protections GlobeRanger had in place on its products, according to the complaint. They could now "peer at the Business Processes, see the solution's architecture and see how it was deployed at a specific site," it states.

Later, Bacon asked for GlobeRanger's data dictionary, "again ostensibly for support of GlobeRanger sites," it adds.


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