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"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:
"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.