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

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon Sep 11 11:43:27 AEST 2023

On Sun, Sep 10, 2023 at 9:11 PM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:

> 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?

I have never seen an unofficial, much less an official, reckoning, but if
you discover/unearth something, it will be interesting to read.

That said, you left out one piece of history.  Please remember that AT&T
bought NCR in the mid-1980s (and eventually spun it off a few years later).
The UNIX HW development was moved into the new division of the old NCR,
including the 3B series work, the WE32000, and some other semiconductor IPs.

FWIW: That occurred when I consulted for NCR's Chief Architect (Lee Hovel)
in the mid-late 80s (I did some of the analysis for Lee on what IP was
there).  But that all settled out after my contract expired, so I don't
know how it finally settled - other than I'm reasonably sure that most of
the 3B and chip development reported up through an ex-NCR exec after
purchase. Those teams and their associated IP were folded into things like
the old NCR semi-conductor, NCR Computer, *etc*..   IIRC Also, a few NCR
communications products were moved out of the old NCR team and into the old
WE folks.

So ....  I would not be surprised if when NCR was later spun back out, some
of the old AT&T IP (such as the computer HW and chip IP) went with them,
just as when Novell was sold the UNIX SW IP.  Of course, later, Lucent, ney
Alcatel, ney Nokia - got the communications IP.

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