RealTime IT News

SCO's DaimlerChrysler Case Crashes

The SCO Group's breach of contract lawsuit against automobile manufacturer DaimlerChrysler came to a crashing halt Wednesday afternoon, after a judge ruled in favor of a dismissal motion.

Lindon, Utah-based SCO sued its one-time customer March 3 for failing to provide documentation certifying its systems were abiding by the terms of the SCO licensing agreement.

Judge Rae Lee Chabot of the Michigan District Court in the County of Oakland ruled in favor of all counts in DaimlerChrylser's motion for summary disposition except for one, the one that deals with the time it took for the automobile company to respond to a certification letter sent by SCO requesting license compliance.

"Obviously, we're very pleased with the court's ruling, and we look forward to resolving the remaining issue," said Florian Martens, a spokesperson with DaimlerChrysler.

It's a setback for the software vendor currently embroiled in a $5 billion lawsuit against IBM , which SCO claims swiped source code from its Unix System V copyright and placed it into the Linux kernel.

SCO expanded its efforts against its customer base, telling them they had 30 days to certify that their systems were abiding by the provisions of their license agreement and weren't using Linux. SCO claims Linux is a derivative of its Unix code; it planned to make DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone public examples for those who failed to certify their compliance.

But the suit against DaimlerChrysler went bad from the very beginning. After it was filed, lawyers for DaimlerChrysler fired back with a motion for summary disposition, which claimed the car company had not used SCO's software in more than seven years, so the company was obviously in compliance with SCO licensing provisions.

The only claim by DaimlerChrysler lawyers that didn't get the judge's approval was the one which said it didn't break any breach of contract stipulations for not responding to SCO's certification letter within 30 days. According to DaimlerChrysler lawyers, the SCO agreement doesn't have any clause stating it has 30 days to do so.

Martens said he doesn't know what will happen with the case's sole claim outstanding, saying it's up to SCO lawyers to determine whether to pursue or just drop the case entirely.

Blake Stowell, a SCO spokesperson, said the ruling wasn't unexpected and leaves the door open for the company's lawyers to look into why it took so long for DaimlerChrysler to send the certification letter.

"The only reason we really filed our lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler to begin with was because they had not certified their compliance with the software agreement they had signed," he said. "It was only after we had filed litigation that they sent us a letter back saying they certified their compliance."