IBM Confident in Face of SCOs Legal Steps

IBM and SCO continued their legal maneuvering as SCO on Thursday switched its trade-secret charges with copyright violations. The court's response, as well as SCO's attack on a Linux user, is due shortly.

The legal maneuvering between The SCO Group Inc. and IBM took a new twist as IBM on Thursday gave the green light for SCO to amend its complaint, dropping its trade secret claims and replacing them with copyright violations.

In the memorandum, IBMs attorneys also stated, that the "plaintiffs amended allegations are merit-less. Nevertheless, and without conceding the grounds on which the amended pleadings are based, IBM does not oppose plaintiffs second motion for leave to amend."

Pamela Jones editor of Groklaw, a site devoted to following SCOs cases, called the move "IBMs Go Ahead, Make My Day Memorandum."

"IBM is in no hurry to bring this to any early end based on a technicality. They seem to want to get a ruling on the merits that will be a precedent and stand the test of time," Jones observed.

Blake Stowell, director of public relations for the Lindon, Utah based companies, said that "both sides are still waiting for the magistrate to approve or disapprove the second amendment filing but with this, IBM is helping bring the process along."

Despite this effort by IBM, the Utah Federal Court in Salt Lake City has not ruled to allow SCO to amend its suit, nor ruled on the various discovery motions by both companies.

The court heard motions to compel discovery from both SCO and IBM on February 5th and a written ruling on these issues, as well as SCOs amended filing, will be forthcoming in about a week.

In addition, SCO is battling Novell Inc. over Unix copyrights. SCO sued Novell in January over these claims and the matter has yet to make it to court.

Since then, Novell sent out letters denying SCOs copyright claims to customers and asked the court to throw out the copyright claims entirely.

Meanwhile, SCO is prepping to file charges against a large corporate user of Linux.. And the countdown is ticking, according to Stowell. "SCO would soon—[in] days not weeks—bring suit against a Linux-using company," he said.

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