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

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon Sep 11 13:37:39 AEST 2023

My point was it was not clear at all other than then NCR deal would have
added to the confusion. For instance I know that one of my brothers who was
doing communications chips at ATT Allentown PA that we originally for the
3B but later licensed to Apple (became FireWire I think) stayed with ATT
but one or more of his buddies ended up moving to Ohio to become part of
NCR because that was were more SCSI and FC chips were being done.

So like lots of big firms things were added and subtracted as different
deals were made.  So I’m not sure there is an easy linear progression and
while Nokia at this point clearly owns some of this but don’t be surprised
that like Unix - there are multiple firms with IP claims and unless
something happens where it takes a court to sort it out, I’m not so sure
any of here is going to be able to give you a definitive answer.

Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual

On Sun, Sep 10, 2023 at 10:58 PM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:

> Whoops, my bad, hadn't considered NCR in this train of thought.
> And it sounds like the Nokia stream is a compelling direction, what with
> the 3B20 emulation and all that, it was a telecom processor after all. Glad
> to see I'm not just stumped, that it can be a little unclear.
> - Matt G.
> P.S. I realize my last P.S. may be more opinion oriented and/or
> controversial..just wanna recognize that oversight, no harm intended,
> different discussion for a different time
> ------- Original Message -------
> On Sunday, September 10th, 2023 at 6:43 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com>
> wrote:
> 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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