Google is surely a useful thing!
I spent a couple hours this morning digging around. Most of you may
know that ComputerVision spun off its Prime-related operations in
1997, to CVSI, Inc. Then in 1999, CVSI, Inc., was purchased by 4Front
Technologies, a UK-based "American" company. 4Front Technologies was
in turn acquired by NCR around 2000. At some point, NCR Corporation
transferred some or all of CVSI's rights to Parametric Technology
Corporation. Here's some of that history in detail:
On July 18, 1997, ComputerVision entered into an operating agreement
with CVSI, Inc., and among the details of this agreement, section 5.6
pertains to PRIMOS:
"5.6 CV hereby grants CVSI an exclusive, non-transferable, perpetual,
free right and license from the Effective Date to use, copy and
PRIMOS and associated source code and use, copy, enhance, market,
distribute and license PRIMOS applications and documentation;
however, that CV and its subsidiaries shall retain any and all rights
(i) use, copy and enhance PRIMOS and associated source code,
and documentation for their respective internal operations, and (ii)
copy and enhance PRIMOS and associated source code and use, copy,
market, package, distribute and license PRIMOS applications and
documentation for so long as CVSI is in default in its obligations to
provide OSS Services under this Agreement and such default could
be expected to result in a material breach of a Customer Contract."
Meanwhile, the "Prime" trademark (US Trademark No. 73123025),
originally filed on 15 April 1977 by Prime Computer, Inc, registered
by them on 9 January 1979, renewed by CVSI, Inc., on 9 January 1999,
and was cancelled on 28 October 2010. The chain of ownership was:
Prime Computer -> CVSI, Inc. -> NCR Corporation -> Parametric
You can see that info here:
Similarly, the "PRIMOS" trademark (US Trademark No. 73122880) has been
abandoned. It was originally filed on the same date as above,
registered 20 June 1978, renewed 20 June 1998, except that its
ownership passed directly from CVSI to Parametric, and didn't pass
through NCR Corporation. It expired 28 March 2009.
You can find this info here:
After spinning off CVSI in 1997, ComputerVision was acquired by
Parametric Technology Corporation, in 1998.
Today, CVSI seems to still have a legal existence, but their address,
1700 S. Patterson Drive, Dayton, OH, doesn't exist- it's open
greenspace, and the from satellite pics, that's not a recent
development. The CEO of CVSI, Jonathan S. Hoak, has ties to Teradata
International and of course to NCR.
Parametric is still in business, marketing CAD-related software
products and services. In contrast to the information above, on this
they still list PRIME as a registered trademark. PRIMOS is not listed.
I had contacted CVSI in 2000, inquiring as to the availability of a
license to PRIMOS. I didn't need one really, since by agreement, my
2455 remained the property of Stu Rutkin, and with me operating it
under his license. The CVSI staffer I corresponded with seemed to be
in a hurry to get some cash from me, then suddenly went silent. This
has always seemed very shady to me.
If I recall correctly, ongoing maintenance of PRIMOS had been
contracted out to Peritus, Inc., which is still in business.
The compilers, except for PL/P (written by Jim Cook? of Prime) and
perhaps the original FTN compiler and PMA assembler, had been written
by Language Processors, Inc., which later became Liant, which was
later acquired by MicroFocus, which also bought Ryan/McFarland some
If anyone can provide corrections or fill in gaps here, please do!