SCO Group wants judge to rethink gutting of case

Published December 15, 2006 12:00 am
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Utah's SCO Group has asked a federal judge to reconsider striking most of the claims from its $5 billion, Linux-related lawsuit against IBM.

But they don't want anyone to know why.

Attorneys for the Lindon-based software company, which claims IBM illegally leaked SCO-owned Unix programming code into the freely-distributed Linux operating system, filed supporting documents for their reconsideration motion under seal this week.

"Largely, SCO wants to show some new evidence and cites some technical problems in the decision to be fixed. I can't really discuss more because [documents are under seal]," SCO attorney Brent Hatch said Thursday.

IBM, which has steadfastly declined to comment on developments in the suit, had no comment.

Both sides in the suit filed by SCO in March 2003 have filed documents under seal involving proprietary software and projects.

SCO wants U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball to take another look at his Nov. 29 decision to uphold Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells' June ruling to drop 187 of SCO's list of nearly 300 code-related allegations against IBM. Observers have said the decision left the Utah company with a near-worthless shell of a contract and copyright case.

Following a six-week review of Wells' ruling, Kimball had not only upheld her decision in its entirety, but chastised SCO for failure to obey repeated court orders to back up its claims.

The judge also ordered a separate but related suit involving Novell's challenge to SCO's claims of Unix ownership be tried next September, before the currently unscheduled IBM trial. A Novell victory would likely deliver a coup de grace to SCO's suit against Big Blue, since Unix ownership is key to that action.

SCO's stock closed Thursday at $1.5 per share, up 1 cent.


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