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California Computer Products, Inc., and Century Data Systems, Inc., vs. International Business Machines Corporation records

Identifier: CBI 2

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains photocopies of trial transcripts, trial exhibits, legal memoranda and other legal documents relating to California Computer Products, Inc. vs. International Business Machines Corporation. Although some items are missing from the collection, the records yield a complete picture of the lawsuit and issues involved. The records also include information about IBM's and CalComp's business practices, the practices of other computer companies of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the "plug compatible" equipment business based on IBM computer systems.

The collection was donated in 1980 by R. George Glaser, a consultant for IBM. Further information about CalComp's and IBM's products may be found in the Near-print collection at the Charles Babbage Institute. Two volumes from the trail transcript were missing from the Glaser donation; those volumes were duplicated from records at the National Archives.


  • 1963-1972


Language of Materials


Access to materials:

Access to the collection is unrestricted.


Most of the material in the collection was presented during trial and is a public record. However, some of the exhibits may be protected by the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Request for permission to publish material from the exhibits should be discussed with the archivist.

Historical Note

California Computer Products, Inc. (CalComp) was a manufacturer of digital plotters, disk drives and other "plug compatible" computer equipment. It was incorporated in September 1958 and was involved primarily with the production plotters until about 1968, when it began selling disk drives manufactured by Century Data Systems of Anaheim, California. Total revenues for the company were over $6 million in 1966 and $118 million by 1977. By 1970, CalComp had acquired controlling interest in Century.

A portion of CalComp's business, particularly disk drives, was aimed at providing peripheral equipment for other manufacturers' systems at a substantial reduction to the manufacturers' price. On October 3, 1973, CalComp filed a claim against IBM for preventing CalComp from competing in the disk drive market. The company claimed that IBM had monopolized the market through premature introduction of new central processing units and disk drives, price cuts on existing disk products, leasing policies and other unfair marketing practices over a period of ten years (1963 - 1972). CalComp sought treble damages (as stipulated under section 4 of the Clayton Act) on an amount of $102 million. The claim was filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, as number 73-2331-RM.

CalComp evidently requested a jury trial because the company felt that a jury would be more sympathetic to CalComp's complaint and it would be more difficult for an appellate court to reverse a jury decision. After three years of discovery, the trial began on November 15, 1976 with Judge Ray McNichols presiding. Maxwell M. Bletcher of Bletcher, Collins and Hoecker was lead counsel for CalComp. David Boies of Cravath, Swaine and Moore represented IBM. Testimony was given in person and through deposition by both IBM and CalComp executives, as well as other computer manufacturers and expert witnesses.

After CalComp had presented its case, IBM moved for a directed verdict. On February 11, 1977, Judge McNichols ruled in favor of IBM's motion, citing that there was "not substantial evidence in the record to support a finding of unlawful monopolization in any of the relevant markets suggested."

CalComp filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on February 16, 1977 in San Francisco (no. 77-1563). Judge Herbert Y. C. Choy denied the rehearing on November 16, 1979 and ruled that IBM's pricing, marketing and design changes did not constitute an attempt to monopolize the market.

CalComp was bought by Sanders Associates in 1980.


  1. California Computer Products v. International Business Machines, 613 F.2d 727 (1979).
  2. Fisher, Franklin M.; McKie, James W.; Mancke, Richard B. IBM and the U.S. Data Processing Industry: An Economic History.New York: Praeger Publishers, 1983, pp. 296.
  3. Gardner, W. David, "The West Coast Cases: Lively Affairs to be Tried by Juries." Datamation, July 1976, pp. 110-111.
  4. Myers, Edith, "A Change in Pace?" Datamation,February 1977, pp. 137-138.
  5. Myers, Edith, "CalComp's Next Move: Appeal." Datamation, March 1977, pp. 161-164.
  6. Myers, Edith, "Two Groups Watch Antitrust Action." Datamation, October 1976, pp. 138.
  7. Myers, Edith, "West Coast Cases: The First Is On." Datamation, December 1976, pp. 159-161.


10 boxes (7.25 cubic feet)


Photocopies of trial transcripts, trial exhibits, legal memoranda, and other legal documents relating to California Computer Products, Inc. vs. IBM Corporation. Although some items are missing from the collection, the records yield a complete picture of the lawsuit and issues involved. Also included is information about IBM's and CalComp's business practices, the practices of other computer companies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the "plug compatible" computer business based on IBM computer systems. The collection is divided into three sections: trial transcripts (1976-1977), briefs and memoranda (1970, 1976-1977), and exhibits (ca. 1963-1977). Exhibits include an EDP market share study of computer products from 1953 through 1970.

Arrangement of Collection

The materials in this collection are arranged into the following groups:

  1. Trial Transcripts, 1976-1977
  2. Briefs and Memoranda, 1970, 1976-1977
  3. Exhibits, ca. 1963-1977


The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by R. George Glaser in 1980.


Witness Index to the Trial Transcript

  1. Arthur D. Beard, 11/29/76, pp. 2162-2308.
  2. James H. Binger, 11/29/76, pp. 2090-2159.
  3. Richard M. Bloch, 12/6/76, pp. 2948-3045
  4. Gerald W. Brock, 12/2-3/76, pp. 2633-2797, 2802-2880
  5. James H. Cheney, 12/21/76, pp. 6034-6063
  6. Anthony L. Conrad, 11/22/76, pp. 1427-1522
  7. Kenneth N. Davis, Jr., 12/9/76, pp. 4586-4683
  8. John Hallam Dawson, 12/21/76, pp. 6144-6163
  9. John P. Eckert, Jr., 12/6/76, pp. 3045-4020
  10. Stanley Carrol Edmondson, 1/13-14 and 17/77, pp. 8651-8779, 8783-8915, 8918-9090
  11. Gerad J. Fassig, 1/6/77, pp. 7659-7691
  12. J. Garrett Fitzgibbons, 1/7/77, pp. 7804-7821
  13. N. Allyn Gallup, Jr., 12/21/76, pp. 6116-6143
  14. Gideon I. Gartner, 1/10-11/77, pp. 8096-8125, 8129-8323
  15. John Gibson, 12/14/76, pp. 5160-5179
  16. Jerrier A. Haddad, 12/14/76, pp. 5121-5144
  17. John J. Hangen, 11/19 and 22/76, pp. 1251-1385, 1400-1404
  18. Reginald H. Jones, 1/3/77, pp. 6969-7034, 7067-7116
  19. Lawrence R. Kahn, 1/17-18/77, pp. 9091-9093, 9097-9220
  20. James J. Keil, 1/5/77, pp. 7413-7425
  21. Martin J. Kelly, 1/5/77, pp. 7404-7412
  22. Lester L. Kilpatrick, 1/18-21 and 31/77 and 2/1-4/77, pp. 9221-9259, 9262-9461, 9466-9637, 9640-9754, 9759-9932, 9936-10104, 10107-10296, 10311-10476, 10480-10494
  23. John William Charles Lacey, 12/7/76, pp. 4196-4244
  24. Richard A. Malcomson, 1/10/77, pp. 7983-8001
  25. Gordon Marshall, 1/11-12/77, pp. 8325-8376, 8440-8475
  26. James W. Martin, 12/3 and 6/76, pp. 2884-2943, 2947-2948
  27. Edwin S. McCollister, 11/18-19/76, pp. 1039-1142, 1146-1242
  28. Robert E. McDonald, 11/18/76, pp. 934-1038
  29. Patrick J. McGovern, 11/23-24/76, pp. 1647-1834, 1837-2074
  30. Dan L. McGurk, 12/22-23/76, pp. 6180-6378, 6381-6478
  31. Anelise N. Mosich, 2/7/77, pp. 10580-10659
  32. Jared Raymond Myrack, 2/4 and 7-8/77, pp. 10495-10576, 10661-10755, 10759-10915
  33. William Charles Norris, 11/22/76, pp. 1522-1594
  34. Robert S. Oelman, 11/22/76, pp. 1405-1427
  35. William H. Osborn, 1/10/77, pp. 8050-8066
  36. Max Palevsky, 12/20/76, pp. 5791-5956
  37. Theodore C. Papes, 12/14/76, pp. 5144-5159
  38. Alan Perlis, 12/17/76, pp. 5672-5780
  39. Robert B. Philipp, 12/21/76, pp. 6087-6115
  40. Montgomery Phister, Jr., 11/30-12/1/76, pp. 2312-2473, 2477-2629
  41. Howard J. Pier, 12/9/76, pp. 4581-4585
  42. Mark Ponton, 1/7/77, pp. 7825-7849
  43. Thomas L. Ringer, 12/9/76, pp. 4683-4704
  44. Louis Robinson, 12/17/76, pp. 5781-5787
  45. Francis G. Rogers, 1/7/77, pp. 7850-7879
  46. Joseph W. Rooney, 12/7/76, pp. 4133-4196
  47. William G. Shepherd, 12/28-30/76, pp. 6510-6658, 6666-6846, 6849-6966
  48. Harry M. Sibley, 12/21/76, pp. 5973-6033
  49. Clarence W. Spangle, 11/22 and 29/76, pp. 1594-1641, 2063-2089
  50. David Sturges, 1/7/77, pp. 7915-7926
  51. Paul C. Vilandre, 1/7/77, pp. 7880-7894
  52. Thomas J. Watson, Jr., 12/9/76, pp. 4575-4580
  53. John W. Weil, 12/6/76, pp. 4021-4130
  54. Richard A. Whitcomb, 1/5-6/77, pp. 7478-7589, 7593-7609
  55. Paul W. Williams, Jr., 1/13/77, pp. 8593-8650
  56. Ward W. Woods, 1/10/77, pp. 8002-8011, 8024-8049
  57. Vernon Orville Wright, 12/15-16/76, pp. 5344-5400, 5413-5662
California Computer Products, Inc., and Century Data Systems, Inc., vs. International Business Machines Corporation Records, 1963-1972. Finding Aid.
Prepared by Bruce H. Bruemmer and Kevin D. Corbitt, December 1996.
Language of description
Script of description
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455