Green Hills Software files antitrust lawsuit to fight Wind River litigation

Santa Barbara, CA—Green Hills Software Inc. reports that it has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit to stop Wind River Systems Inc. from reportedly abandoning their mutual customers. Green Hills adds that Wind River also recently sued it allegedly to force termination of a 99-year cooperative agreement between the companies.

By Control Engineering Staff January 25, 2005

Santa Barbara, CA— Green Hills Software Inc. reports that it has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit to stop Wind River Systems Inc. from reportedly abandoning their mutual customers. Green Hills adds that Wind River also recently sued it allegedly to force termination of a 99-year cooperative agreement between the companies. Green Hills says it will stand by its commitment to customers by fighting Wind River’s lawsuit.

For more than 10 years, Green Hills explains that it and Wind River cooperated to provide joint customers with Green Hills’ Multi and AdaMulti embedded software development tools, including debuggers and compilers, for use with Wind River’s VxWorks operating system. Many U.S. defense programs use Multi and AdaMulti with VxWorks, including the F/A-18 Hornet, F-15 Eagle, and AV-8B Harrier fighter jets.

‘Green Hills Software and Wind River made a commitment to support our joint customers for the life of their products,’ says Dan O’Dowd, Green Hills’ founder and CEO. ‘To demonstrate our mutual commitment, both companies signed a 99-year cooperation agreement. Green Hills Software has always fully complied with the terms of that agreement.

‘Under Wind River’s last four CEOs, we received the VxWorks updates that we need to fulfill our support commitment. However, as soon as the latest regime took over, they breached the agreement by refusing to supply us with new updates, interfering with our ability to support our mutual customers. Wind River also filed a lawsuit in what appears to be an effort to intimidate us and our customers, who depend on Multi and AdaMulti for VxWorks. After nearly a year of fruitless negotiation, it appears that litigation is the only way for us to get the VxWorks updates we need to support critical national defense programs that use Multi and AdaMulti for VxWorks.’

In response to Green Hills’ action, John Bruggeman, Wind River’s chief marketing officer, says that, “Wind River stands behind its decision to file suit against Green Hills Software Inc. We’re committed to our customers’ success, and are continuing to work with them to deliver the industry’s most reliable Device Software Optimization solutions.’

In its antitrust litigation, Green Hills alleges that Wind River adopted a reportedly illegal plan to monopolize the market for Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for VxWorks by engaging in a series of activities to drive Green Hills out of the VxWorks IDE market. Besides preventing Green Hills from obtaining VxWorks updates, Green Hills alleges that:

  • Wind River libeled Green Hills by telling customers that Green Hills decided to drop support for Multi and AdaMulti for VxWorks. In fact, Green Hills adds that it was Wind River that failed to provide Green Hills with VxWorks updates.

  • Wind River has engaged in false advertising by issuing press releases claiming that its Workbench 2.0 is ‘the first and only cross-platform IDE to support VxWorks, Linux and other in-house operating systems.’ In fact, for many years, Multi has been the leading cross-platform IDE with support for VxWorks, Linux, and in-house proprietary operating systems.

O’Dowd adds that, ‘To add insult to injury, Wind River has named its new debugger‘Multi-X.’ Wind River can’t misappropriate 13 years of goodwill built up in our Multi product name by tacking an ‘X’ onto the end of it. How long would it take General Mills to sue someone who dared to introduce a new breakfast cereal named Wheaties-X?

‘Wind River has been unable to defeat Multi for VxWorks in the marketplace, so now they’re trying to stop Multi for VxWorks in the courtroom. We have no choice but to pursue vigorous litigation against Wind River to protect our customers, our trademarks, and our reputation from Wind River’s baseless lawsuits, breaches of contract, libels, false advertising, interference in our customer relationships, and trademark infringement.’

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com