California Computer Products, Inc., and Century Data Systems, Inc., vs. International Business Machines Corporation records
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.
- California Computer Products (Organization)
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.
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.
- California Computer Products v. International Business Machines, 613 F.2d 727 (1979).
- 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.
- Gardner, W. David, "The West Coast Cases: Lively Affairs to be Tried by Juries." Datamation, July 1976, pp. 110-111.
- Myers, Edith, "A Change in Pace?" Datamation,February 1977, pp. 137-138.
- Myers, Edith, "CalComp's Next Move: Appeal." Datamation, March 1977, pp. 161-164.
- Myers, Edith, "Two Groups Watch Antitrust Action." Datamation, October 1976, pp. 138.
- 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:
- Trial Transcripts, 1976-1977
- Briefs and Memoranda, 1970, 1976-1977
- 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
- Arthur D. Beard, 11/29/76, pp. 2162-2308.
- James H. Binger, 11/29/76, pp. 2090-2159.
- Richard M. Bloch, 12/6/76, pp. 2948-3045
- Gerald W. Brock, 12/2-3/76, pp. 2633-2797, 2802-2880
- James H. Cheney, 12/21/76, pp. 6034-6063
- Anthony L. Conrad, 11/22/76, pp. 1427-1522
- Kenneth N. Davis, Jr., 12/9/76, pp. 4586-4683
- John Hallam Dawson, 12/21/76, pp. 6144-6163
- John P. Eckert, Jr., 12/6/76, pp. 3045-4020
- Stanley Carrol Edmondson, 1/13-14 and 17/77, pp. 8651-8779, 8783-8915, 8918-9090
- Gerad J. Fassig, 1/6/77, pp. 7659-7691
- J. Garrett Fitzgibbons, 1/7/77, pp. 7804-7821
- N. Allyn Gallup, Jr., 12/21/76, pp. 6116-6143
- Gideon I. Gartner, 1/10-11/77, pp. 8096-8125, 8129-8323
- John Gibson, 12/14/76, pp. 5160-5179
- Jerrier A. Haddad, 12/14/76, pp. 5121-5144
- John J. Hangen, 11/19 and 22/76, pp. 1251-1385, 1400-1404
- Reginald H. Jones, 1/3/77, pp. 6969-7034, 7067-7116
- Lawrence R. Kahn, 1/17-18/77, pp. 9091-9093, 9097-9220
- James J. Keil, 1/5/77, pp. 7413-7425
- Martin J. Kelly, 1/5/77, pp. 7404-7412
- 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
- John William Charles Lacey, 12/7/76, pp. 4196-4244
- Richard A. Malcomson, 1/10/77, pp. 7983-8001
- Gordon Marshall, 1/11-12/77, pp. 8325-8376, 8440-8475
- James W. Martin, 12/3 and 6/76, pp. 2884-2943, 2947-2948
- Edwin S. McCollister, 11/18-19/76, pp. 1039-1142, 1146-1242
- Robert E. McDonald, 11/18/76, pp. 934-1038
- Patrick J. McGovern, 11/23-24/76, pp. 1647-1834, 1837-2074
- Dan L. McGurk, 12/22-23/76, pp. 6180-6378, 6381-6478
- Anelise N. Mosich, 2/7/77, pp. 10580-10659
- Jared Raymond Myrack, 2/4 and 7-8/77, pp. 10495-10576, 10661-10755, 10759-10915
- William Charles Norris, 11/22/76, pp. 1522-1594
- Robert S. Oelman, 11/22/76, pp. 1405-1427
- William H. Osborn, 1/10/77, pp. 8050-8066
- Max Palevsky, 12/20/76, pp. 5791-5956
- Theodore C. Papes, 12/14/76, pp. 5144-5159
- Alan Perlis, 12/17/76, pp. 5672-5780
- Robert B. Philipp, 12/21/76, pp. 6087-6115
- Montgomery Phister, Jr., 11/30-12/1/76, pp. 2312-2473, 2477-2629
- Howard J. Pier, 12/9/76, pp. 4581-4585
- Mark Ponton, 1/7/77, pp. 7825-7849
- Thomas L. Ringer, 12/9/76, pp. 4683-4704
- Louis Robinson, 12/17/76, pp. 5781-5787
- Francis G. Rogers, 1/7/77, pp. 7850-7879
- Joseph W. Rooney, 12/7/76, pp. 4133-4196
- William G. Shepherd, 12/28-30/76, pp. 6510-6658, 6666-6846, 6849-6966
- Harry M. Sibley, 12/21/76, pp. 5973-6033
- Clarence W. Spangle, 11/22 and 29/76, pp. 1594-1641, 2063-2089
- David Sturges, 1/7/77, pp. 7915-7926
- Paul C. Vilandre, 1/7/77, pp. 7880-7894
- Thomas J. Watson, Jr., 12/9/76, pp. 4575-4580
- John W. Weil, 12/6/76, pp. 4021-4130
- Richard A. Whitcomb, 1/5-6/77, pp. 7478-7589, 7593-7609
- Paul W. Williams, Jr., 1/13/77, pp. 8593-8650
- Ward W. Woods, 1/10/77, pp. 8002-8011, 8024-8049
- Vernon Orville Wright, 12/15-16/76, pp. 5344-5400, 5413-5662
- Century Data Systems
- Computer industry -- Law and legislation Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Computer industry -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Computer input-output equipment Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Computers Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Data disk drives industry Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- International Business Machines Corporation
- 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
- Language of description note
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area
Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455