WACO, TEXAS —  Freeloaders, beware. IBM isn’t having it.

This week, the tech giant filed a lawsuit against Switzerland-based LzLabs – founded in 2011 by US tech entrepreneur and philanthropist John Moore – accusing it of “misusing” IBM’s mainframe systems, its “core technology” that clients depend on for their most important workloads, it said.

In the legal action filed in the US District Court in Waco, Texas on Monday, IBM asserted that LzLabs created a shell entity to infringe IBM parents and “deliberately misappropriate” its trade secrets “by reverse engineering, reverse compiling and translating IBM software.” It also alleges that LzLabs has made “false and misleading claims” about its products.

To make matters worse, it’s not the first time, IBM said.

The lawsuit said one of Moore’s other companies, Neon Enterprise Software, had engaged in a similar “free-riding effort” on IBM’s mainframe technology a decade earlier. A federal judge in Waco permanently blocked Neon and Moores from misusing IBM’s technology and selling its competing product in 2011, IBM said.

‘Free-riding effort’

“Now, LzLabs is the vehicle through which Moores and Rockmann [his long-time associate] are attempting to engage in another free-riding effort,” the lawsuit alleged.

LzLabs did not immediately response to a request for comment on the allegations.

Moores, who previously owned Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres and founded information technology company BMC Software in 1980, could not immediately be reached.

“IBM has made significant investment in research and development in this critical technology field and will aggressively defend its investments and resulting patents against those who violate them, as LzLabs has now repeatedly done,” IBM said in a statement.

IBM said it’s seeking “an injunction against LzLabs” to prevent further unlawful use.

IBM is one of the biggest technology and consulting firms in the world with more than 400,000 employees and clients in 170 countries. It operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP and employs several thousand people across North Carolina.

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