SCO Versus Novell Case Still Very Much Alive
Published: September 11, 2007
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
The fact that Judge Dale Kimball, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Utah, made a ruling on August 10 on the long-running lawsuit between The SCO Group and Novell, has not coerced the parties to come to some sort of agreement. Judge Kimball found that Novell, not SCO, owned the copyrights to the Unix operating system.
After the ruling, the companies took a few days off to assess their relative positions in the case. On August 17, the two companies filed status reports with Kimball to answer the judge's questions about items not settled by his ruling from the bench on August 10. (You can see the play-by-play legal action on the Groklaw site, which tracks this and related cases.) SCO and Novell are, of course, haggling over whether SCO owes Novell any of the royalty money it collected from Unix licensing deals with Microsoft and Sun Microsystems made famous by the pending and related lawsuit between IBM and SCO. Two days later, Judge Kimball sent out an order telling the two parties how he wanted to run the trial, which is set to begin on September 17 and run for 21 days. Since that time, SCO and Novell have been filing papers rapid fire, arguing over how they will select jurors and who can give expert testimony. On August 29, SCO asked for an immediate, final judgment ruling on whether Novell or SCO owned Unix and UnixWare copyrights. SCO doesn't want to wait for the trial and then an appeal to get final judgment, which could take a lot of time--and money--it does not have. Particularly if the judge says Novell is due a big piece of those royalty payments from Microsoft and Sun.
Just before the Labor Day holiday, on August 31, IBM and SCO filed papers with Judge Kimball on what they think remains unresolved in their case in light of his August 10 ruling in the SCO-Novell suit. SCO also filed a motion for reconsideration or clarification in the Novell suit, explaining very delicately to Judge Kimball that they believe that he didn't get the facts straight in his ruling, but that SCO wants immediate clarification on one issue: whether or not SCO owes royalty money to Novell. "Although SCO respectfully disagrees with a number of the factual and legal findings in the order, considering the approaching trial date, SCO confines this motion to a single issue that bears on the issue of SVRX royalties due Novell." And with good reason. There is a lot of money at stake, and paying it would be dire for SCO right now.
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Big Blue Hits SCO with Countersuit
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SCO Launches $1 Billion Unix, Linux Lawsuit Against IBM
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