RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A federal judge has ruled that IBM must pay $1.6 billion in damages to BMC Software Inc.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Gray Miller came after a seven-day non-jury trial held in March.

Judge Miller rejected the claim from IBM that the company “acquired the mainframe software account of one of BMC’s core customers, AT&T Corp., fair and square,” according to reporting from Bloomberg.

The case, known as BMC Software Inc v. International Business Machines Corp, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, No. 4:17-cv-02254, is described in a court document as “a long-running business dispute in which the parties allege breaches of contract and other wrongful conduct related to the parties’ Master Licensing Agreement (MLA) and related Outsourcing Attachments (OA) and their respective services provided to non-party AT&T.”

Judge Miller’s ruling came on Monday.

According to reporting from Reuters, the ruling was that, through fraud, IBM convinced BMC Software “to sign a contract that allowed IBM to “exercise rights without paying for them, secure other contractual benefits, and ultimately acquire one of BMC’s core customers”.”

Reuters also noted that IBM said in a statement that the ruling was “entirely unsupported by fact and law” and that the company intends to appeal the ruling.

A portion of a decades-old $1 billion lawsuit between IBM and Linux was settled last year.