Case | HBS Case Collection | March 1990 (Revised October 1994)

IBM-Fujitsu Dispute

by Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.


Describes a dispute between IBM and Fujitsu over allegations that Fujitsu stole proprietary IBM software for controlling mainframe computers. Also describes a novel arbitration agreement intended to resolve the dispute, an overview of intellectual property law in the United States and Japan, and background on the question of whether Japan is a peculiarly imitation society. The main teaching objective is to show students the differing approach to intellectual property law in the two countries and the problems these create for trade and for company management.

Keywords: Trade; Ethics; Intellectual Property; Law; Negotiation Process; Relationships; Software; Information Technology Industry;


Badaracco, Joseph L., Jr. "IBM-Fujitsu Dispute." Harvard Business School Case 390-168, March 1990. (Revised October 1994.)