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TRIAD LOSES BID TO ENJOIN ITS ONLY SERVICE COMPETITOR

 SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 22 ~PRNewswire~ -- Federal Court Judge Fern Smith denied Triad's bid to enjoin its only service competitor last Friday in San Francisco.
 Triad, the Livermore, Calif.-based dominant manufacturer of computer systems for auto parts distributors, had alleged that Southeastern Express, a Macon, Ga.-based company which is Triad's only competitor for the servicing of Triad hardware, was infringing Triad's intellectual property, primarily the operating system software which controls the computer. Smith found that there was insufficient support for Triad's allegations, and opened up the discovery phase of the case for Southeastern's antitrust counterclaim against Triad. "Because Triad has abused its dominant position for so long," said Southeastern's lawyer, Ronald S. Katz of the San Francisco office of the international law firm Coudert Brothers, "the antitrust counterclaim will be a major problem for Triad to deal with for years to come."
 Triad has claimed intellectual property rights in its operating system software even though for many years it had sold this software outright rather than, as most computer companies do, licensing it. "They tried to say we didn't own what we had bought and paid for," stated George Barnes, Southeastern's president, "and I just didn't think that that was right. There will now be many auto parts distributors around the country who will have a choice when it comes to the maintenance of their Triad hardware." Southeastern is currently Triad's only competitor in this $70 million market.
 Southeastern's antitrust counterclaim relates to Triad's practices, such as the refusal to sell parts to competitors like Southeastern. In rulings in June and October 1992, involving similar practices of Kodak and Prime Computer, Inc., respectively, the U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings favoring the party in the position now occupied by Southeastern. "The timing of this antitrust case could not be worse for Triad," commented Katz, who is co-counsel for the prevailing parties in those Supreme Court cases. "The trend in the Supreme Court will likely result in a multimillion-dollar verdict against Triad in this suit plus the bringing of many other similar suits. With the new moderate center of the Supreme Court and a new administration, monopolization of service markets no longer pays for manufacturers."
 -0- 11~22~92
 ~CONTACT: George A. Barnes or Gerry Wambolt of Southeastern Express, 912-743-4042, or Ronald S. Katz of Coudert Brothers, 617-570-1605~


CO: Southeastern Express; Triad ST: Georgia, California IN: CPR SU:

CK -- NYSU008 -- 0210 11~22~92 19:09 PST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 20, 1992
Words:407
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