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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 defendants used the purloined assets to begin testing "a Software AG Navy solution that included WebMethods middleware," the complaint alleges.

At an April 2010 conference, Bacon was asked how WebMethods could be trusted to work, given "the absence of any track record for Software AG" regarding RFID and the middleware.

"We had a jump-start because we had already ... implemented [the other sites] using GlobeRanger servers on every site," Bacon allegedly answered. "So, we sort of had that in our hip pockets, which helped us jump-start WebMethods because we just reverse-engineered code from GlobeRanger."

Bacon and others laughed after that statement, according to the complaint.

A person at the meeting handed a recording of the exchange over to GlobeRanger, it adds.

Software AG filed a motion to dismiss the case on March 4.

GlobeRanger's "unnecessarily salacious petition," despite being "filled with sensational language ... fails to assert any viable claims, as the state law claims it raises are preempted by federal law or are insufficiently pleaded," Software AG's lawyers said in a brief supporting the motion.

"We believe the claims are without merit and we will vigorously defend our company and its reputation against these claims," a Software AG spokeswoman said via e-mail. Rhyne, Bacon and Gray did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Meanwhile, Software AG once found itself in somewhat of a reversal of the spy-movie-like scenario painted by GlobeRanger.

In 1982, then-President of Software AG North America John Maguire testified before the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations about how spies from the former Soviet Union attempted to steal the source code for the company's ADABAS database software.

"One might consider ADABAS as the 'Coca-Cola formula' of the computer software industry," Maguire testified, according to a transcript. "It is, deservedly, a closely guarded secret."


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