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By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-01-21 Print this article Print

Thomas Carey, chairman of the business practice group at Boston-based Bromberg & Sunstein LLP, a firm specializing in intellectual property litigation and business law, said the order wasnt surprising.

"From the viewpoint of efficiency, this was an unfortunate order because it will cost IBM plenty to comply with, and the magistrate failed to limit the scope of discovery to matters that could really be a violation of the contract," Carey said. "But from the viewpoint of what normally appears at this stage of a lawsuit, it is not surprising. Plaintiffs typically are given wide latitude to hunt through a defendants files to look for a smoking gun."

Could there be a silver lining for IBM? Levy thinks so: "Ironically, this order forcing IBM to disclose more information to SCO may help IBM in its efforts to obtain summary judgment by removing any argument by SCO that information necessary for its case has been withheld—a point Judge Wells seems to allude to in her order."

One thing everyone did agree on is that the case will now take even more time. "This case has more twists and turns than a corkscrew, and that shows no signs of abating," said DiDio.

"These pretrial motions can go on for years, and theres no end in sight," she said. "IBM is much better equipped than SCO to play the waiting game from a financial and business perspective. Like everyone else who has been involved or observed this case, the Yankee Group is anxious for a resolution, but were resigned to the fact that it will occur later rather than sooner. Meanwhile, the lawsuit has not hampered Linuxs adoption by corporate enterprises."

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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