[TUHS] Current Ownership of 3B/WECo Computer IPs

segaloco via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Mon Sep 11 11:11:32 AEST 2023

Hello folks, I'm here today with a question that sprung off of some 3B20 research.

When 1984 happened and ATTIS rose from the ashes of former Bell System computing efforts, presumably ATTIS received all IP rights from Western Electric for 3B processors, WE32000, and so on, and continued to sell related products through to the 3B2 line. Is this the case, is ATTIS the formal recipient of both computing software *and* hardware IPs after the breakup?

Given that, plus subsequent market flow, "old AT&T" scooped up and paraded around in effigy by SBC, other old Bell stuff cannibalized by other RBOCs, spinoffs of stuff to Novell, then Caldera/SCO on the other side...who all wound up with the hardware IPs? The story as it "concludes" concerning UNIX is of course tied up in all the subsequent lawsuits, what with Novell and Caldera conflicts on ownership, transfer to the Open Group, so on and so forth, and SCO and progeny wind up with the Sys V "trunk."

Is there a clear, current owner of these WECo hardware IPs, or have those waters grown even murkier than those of UNIX in the times after AT&T proper?

Thanks everyone!

- Matt G.

P.S. As an aside (even though it's the more directly UNIX thing...) is anything after SVR4 developments that would've involved the same folks as were working up to that point in the USL group? Or did the transfer of System V to Novell also involve their own in house folks starting to take it over, then over to SCO, is there anything post SVR4 (4.2, 5, UnixWare stuff) that would even remotely be considered the logical next step by the same folks that engineered SVR4, or was it basically just another face in the crowd of "UNIX <xyz>" when USL wasn't involved anymore? Probably not the first time this has been asked either so to a finer point I'm basically fishing for whether anything post the initial SVR4 releases in the early 90s is generally considered "pure" in any way or if the Bell streams pretty much terminate with Research V10 and SVR4, (and IX) at the turn of the 90s.
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