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9/9/2003
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Judge Tosses Tibco Suit Versus Sonic

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton dismissed the suit filed against Sonic for comparing the companies' product lines in a white paper.

A federal court judge Tuesday tossed out a suit filed by Tibco Software Inc. against Sonic Software Corp. for comparing the two companies' product lines in a white paper.

"The showing of irreparable harm is entirely speculative," Judge Phyllis Hamilton of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco wrote in her decision. In addition, "the showing of the likelihood of success was equally thin."

Tibco had sought a restraining order and a preliminary injunction against Sonic's publication of the white paper on its Web site, www.sonicsoftware.com. Charges in Tibco's complaint against Sonic included breach of the terms of the contract that govern use of a version of Tibco Enterprise for JMS downloaded off Tibco's Web site.

Both companies provide Java Messaging Service as a means for one Java application to talk to another. Sonic's SonicMQ specializes in JMS; Tibco provides Tibco Enterprise for JMS as part of a broad offering of messaging services at the base of a stack of integration software. Sonic, Tibco, and IBM all compete as suppliers of JMS product implementations.

Sonic president Greg O'Connor notes that "the court found for Sonic without even requiring a hearing on Tibco's request." O'Connor says the ruling will let Sonic continue to publish the white paper, "JMS Performance Comparison: SonicMQ Vs. Tibco Enterprise For JMS."

The white paper was produced by Jahming Technologies, an application-performance-monitoring firm. "Jahming Technologies prepared this report under contract from Sonic Software Corp.," says the white paper at its start. In the test cases offered, "Sonic MQ demonstrates higher performance and greater message throughput than Tibco," it says.

A Tibco spokesman says the suit charged Sonic with "statutory fake advertising, statutory unfair competition, common-law unfair competition, and common-law fraud."

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