The suit alleges breach of a 1992 license agreement between Verity and the IBM subsidiary in which Verity licenses certain search software to Lotus. The suit seeks injunctive relief and damages among other unspecified remedies.
Attorneys for Lotus and Verity could not be reached for comment.
According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, Lotus threatens to break the agreement by using Verity's software far outside the scope permitted by the original contract. Verity also announced that it has terminated the agreement because of Lotus' alleged breach.
In a statement released today, Verity said Lotus has announced publicly its intent to offer advanced Verity search features and functions, which the company claims is outside the original agreement. Verity says that pact limited Lotus' use of such features and functions to just Lotus Notes. The Verity products are used for retrieving documents, as well as various filters used in the search and indexing processes.
The complaint alleges Lotus does not have the right to those advanced features, or to make available to consumers any of the products allowing for searches outside of the Lotus Notes environment.