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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-29 Print this article Print

The ownership of the intellectual property rights to Unix System V is critcal for SCOs recent legal action against IBM and its threats against the Linux community. If SCO does not legally own the rights to the Unix intellectual property, patent and copyright, it would be unable to enforce its legal action against IBM and Linux distributors and users for violating this. The SCO 10-K report also contains some interesting points. "Our success depends in part on our ability to protect our trademarks, trade secrets, and certain proprietary technology. To accomplish this, we rely primarily on a combination of trademark and copyright laws and trade secrets …
"We generally regulate access to, and distribution of, our documentation and other proprietary information. We also enjoy a broad and deep set of intellectual property rights relating to the Unix operating system. We have recently initiated efforts to garner value from these intellectual property assets and believe it will provide us with additional licensing and partnering revenue opportunities," SCO said in the filing.
"Despite our efforts to protect our trademark rights, unauthorized third parties have in the past attempted and in the future may attempt to misappropriate our trademark rights. We cannot be certain that we will succeed in preventing the misappropriation of our trade name and trademarks in these circumstances or that we will be able to prevent this type of unauthorized use in the future. "The laws of some foreign countries do not protect our trademark rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States. In addition, policing unauthorized use of our trademark rights is difficult, expensive and time consuming. The loss of any material trademark or trade name could have a significant negative effect on our business, operating results and financial condition," the filing said. In the same 10-K filing, SCO admits that the future success of the company depends partly on both the Linux and Unix operating systems industry, which in turn depends on increased use of the Internet for business and other commercial and personal activities. "Laws and regulations have been proposed in the United States and Europe to address privacy and security concerns related to the collection and transmission of information over the internet. Our current practices with regards to the collection and transmission of information over the internet do not violate these proposed regulations," it said. Related Stories:

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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