IBM Letter to Internal Sales Force

Editors Note: On Wednesday, IBM filed a counterclaim against SCO in its ongoing intellectual property battle over Unix/Linux. Here is the text of the letter that IBM sent to its internal sales force on the suit.



Bob Samson
Vice President, Systems Sales
IBM Systems Group

IBM yesterday responded to SCOs amended complaint. We see no merit in their claims and no supporting facts. Significantly, IBM counter sued SCO on a range of issues. Simply put, SCOs scheme is an attempt to profit from its limited rights to a very old UNIX operating system by introducing fear, uncertainty and doubt into the marketplace.

The counterclaims are detailed in our legal filing, but here are the key points:

  • SCO has violated the GNU General Public License, under which it accepted Linux contributions and distributed Linux.
  • SCO has improperly claimed the right to revoke IBMs UNIX license, despite the fact that IBMs contract expressly provides that IBMs rights are irrevocable and that Novell, which is a party to the agreement under which IBM obtained an irrevocable and perpetual UNIX license, agrees that SCO cannot terminate IBMs license and has exercised its right to waive this claim.
  • SCO has directly infringed four IBM patents relating to SCOs commercially available UnixWare, Open Server, SCO Manager and Reliant HA clustering software products.

IBM is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction requiring SCO to refrain from misrepresenting its rights, and to cease further infringement of IBMs patents.

We continue to vigorously defend ourselves. And, we see similar resolve across the industry with regard to Linux, just as it has supported important, sometimes disruptive, efforts like TCP-IP and the Internet.

Along these lines, there is an informative analysis of the SCO complaint available on the Open Source Development Lab Website entitled, "Questioning SCO: A Hard Look at Nebulous Claims," by Eben Moglen, General counsel of the Free Software Foundation. It puts the SCO claims in the proper perspective for Linux users. We have this paper, and all of the latest analyst reports and press articles, including the latest C/net story, to help you answer customer questions on our SCO Complaint page.

Make no mistake, SCO will continue to look for ways to create fear, uncertainty and doubt. FUD, not facts, remains the focus of SCOs efforts. As the lawsuit continues, understand that the industry will resolve it. In the meantime, if you get questions, as always, send them to this ID or contact your local counsel.

Linux continues to gain momentum. We have never had a LinuxWorld more overflowing with innovation, offerings and news (see SuSE and IBM achieve government certification for Linux). IBM will continue to drive both AIX and Linux. And, we are as committed as ever to meeting our customers needs.