RealTime IT News

SCO Appeals Decision to Limit Claims Against IBM

SCO is appealing a recent ruling that would strike down nearly two-thirds of its claims in its ongoing legal battle against IBM over alleged misappropriated portions of Unix code.

The filing follows a June decision by Utah district court Judge Brooke Wells who ruled in favor of granting IBM's motion to eliminate 187 of the 294 SCO claims due to a lack of specificity.

Judge Wells' ruling is seen by many as a major blow to SCO's legal battle with IBM, in which SCO alleges that IBM in some way misused its Unix software license and inappropriately shared Unix trade secrets with the Linux development community.

SCO  spokesperson Blake Stowell confirmed to internetnews.com that SCO filed an appeal to the federal court but said SCO would not comment on its contents because it was filed under seal.

An IBM  spokesperson declined to comment on SCO's appeal, noting that IBM does not comment on legal actions in progress.

SCO made a redacted version of the appeal available, outlining its protestations to Judge Wells' ruling in 60 pages.

In the filing, SCO argues that it complied with the court's direction to identify misused material with specificity. SCO also argues that it did not willfully refuse to provide information.

"There is no basis in the record for the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that SCO willfully -- that is, intentionally -- refused to provide the source code information IBM contends it was obligated to provide," SCO's appeal states.

"To the contrary, the record evidence shows that SCO provided all the identifying information it had regarding the 'misused materials' at issue, and there is no evidence SCO is holding anything back."

Judge Wells' original ruling included harsh words that took aim at SCO's alleged lack of disclosure.

"Given the amount of code that SCO has received in discovery, the court finds it inexcusable that SCO is, in essence, still not placing all the details on the table," Judge Wells wrote in the original ruling.

The case is expected to go to a jury trial in February 2007.