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Legal Setback Raises Questions Of SCO's Survival

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Unix vendor SCO Group's intellectual property lawsuit against IBM has been widely seen as a go-for-broke strategy. Now it looks more like just a plan to go broke.

Utah District Court Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells in late June dismissed 182 of the 201 claims IBM sought to have thrown out of the case; 112 claims remain. The legal action dates back to March 2003, when SCO charged that IBM's contributions to the Linux open source operating system contained lines of code that it had purloined from SCO's Unix software.

Judge Wells said the dismissed claims lacked the specificity needed to hold up in court. SCO, in most instances, failed to identify which lines of code IBM is alleged to have taken improperly.

One analyst says the ruling means that commercial Linux users can breathe easier. A SCO spokesman said there has been "no change" in the policy outlined in McBride's screed. But given last week's ruling, odds are that SCO won't be around long enough to chase down any more Linux users.

Full Story.

SCO's Survival

I've been reading Groklaw 2-3 times a week for last couple of years, and following the IBM v SCOG and Novell v SCOG cases with varying degrees of attention.

Pamela Jones (the founder/head of Groklaw) has been right all along.

Of the 112 claims that remain in the IBM v SCOG, a few are easily shown as spurious, and the remainder will likely be shown as prior art--if, indeed, SCOG survives long enough to actually pursue them the court. Pamela and Groklaw's crack gang of researchers have already been doing vast amounts of homework on the prior art. Whether it's short run, or long run, SCOG is toast.

The one thing I've always admired about Groklaw is their unflagging effort to print source documents--it's not just a bunch of pundits pontificating--you get to read the source material (when it can be obtained), and you can draw your own conclusions. Very much in the Open Source spirit.

It has also brought home why I would never, never, never become a lawyer Smile.

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