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SCO & IBM Try Various Legal Holds on Each Other

SCO & IBM Try Various Legal Holds on Each Other

In the latest episode of the SCO-IBM imbroglio SCO asked the court to cut IBM's patent infringement counterclaims out of the base breach-of-contract case and deal with them separately so things don't get bogged down and technical and confuse or prejudice the jury.

Then, for unexplained reasons, IBM dropped one of its four infringements claims against SCO and wants SCO's copyright claims dropped from the case "after agreeing." SCO says, "to let [it] put them in with its second amended filing."

That was the filing in which SCO dropped its initial misappropriation of trade secrets charge and substituted copyright infringement among a bunch of other things.

The infringement stemmed from the fact that IBM didn't stop distributing AIX and Dynix after SCO terminated IBM's Unix licenses last year.

And, well, if the copyright claims are tossed out - and IBM would also like the court to declare SCO's copyrights "invalid and unenforceable" - then IBM wants a declaratory judgment that it hasn't infringed anything, which would - like SCO's idea but from a different approach - get the mess back to being a contract dispute.

Of course those copyrights are pretty controversial. Novell says it didn't sell them to SCO and that its retained rights trump whatever rights SCO does have so SCO can't terminate IBM license, which IBM says is perpetual anyway, but just in case it's not then Novell forgave IBM for putting derivative Unix code from AIX and Dynix in Linux. Got that?

As IBM told the court, "SCO has continued to misrepresent that it can, or will, or has in fact revoked IBM's rights to use Unix System V, without disclosing that IBM's rights to Unix System V are not terminable or that Novell has exercised its right to waive any contractual rights SCO claims IBM violated."

And while IBM wants SCO's copyright claims expunged, it added to its own list of alleged copyright claims against SCO. The claims derive from SCO allegedly not sticking by the GPL under which IBM licensed it certain technologies.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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