Tuesday, October 26, 2021

That Linux lawsuit: SCO versus IBM may come to a conclusion after 20 years

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The SCO vs. IBM lawsuit that was once seen as an existential threat to Linux became a bad legal joke. Now the suit may finally be put to rest. Well, some of it anyway.

The US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, which has been overseeing the slow and painful bankruptcy of the remains of SCO, announced that the TSG Group, which represents SCO’s debtors, has settled with IBM and resolved all the remaining claims between TSG and IBM “Under the Settlement Agreement, the Parties have agreed to resolve all disputes between them for a payment to the Trustee , on behalf of the Estates , of $14,250,000.”

Today, many Linux users would be shocked to know that there was once a lawsuit aimed squarely at Linux’s heart: Its intellectual property. Some people at the time even thought SCO’s lawsuit against IBM might end Linux. They were wrong. But, for years the case dragged its way through the courts. Now, one part of that case may really and truly be disappearing.

In return, TLD gives up all rights and interests in all litigation claims pending or that may be asserted in the future against IBM and Red Hat, and any allegations that Linux violates SCO’s Unix or Unixware intellectual property.

You think?

Why is TLD, the former SCO, finally agreeing to let this drop. Because, as some of us knew 18 years ago, they never had a case. Or, as TLD’s legal representative, Blank Rome bankruptcy attorney Stanley B. Tarr, put it in a motion, “succeeding on the unfair competition claims will require proving to a jury that events occurring many years ago constituted unfair competition and caused SCO harm. Even if SCO were to succeed in that effort, the amount of damages it would recover is uncertain and could be significantly less than provided by the Settlement Agreement.”

After all, Tarr continued:

…a jury would have to find that (1) the amount of damage SCO sustained as a result of IBM’s conduct is less than SCO has alleged, (2) SCO’s damages are limited by a $5 million damage limitation provision in the Project Monterey agreement, or (3) some or all of IBM’s Counterclaims, alleging millions of dollars in damages related to IBM’s Linux activities and alleged interference by SCO, are meritorious.

That’s not going to happen.

News Summary:

  • That Linux lawsuit: SCO versus IBM may come to a conclusion after 20 years
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