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SCO Tries to Delay Novell

The SCO versus Novell legal battle has been a blow-by-blow affair since the beginning might continue to be so even as SCO continues with its other legal battlefront against IBM .

But could IBM and Novell be co-coordinating their legal offensives against SCO?

In the latest round of the SCO versus Novell saga, SCO has filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah for a stay of any hearing related to Novell's recent motion for summary judgment.

SCO is seeing a stay until after the end of its expected trial against IBM, which is currently set for February of 2007. Alternatively SCO is asking the court for an extension of time to file its own motion and to extend the discovery phase of the case.

Both SCO and IBM have filed for summary judgments in that legal case, as well. According to SCO, there is a link between IBM pushing for summary judgment and Novell's new motion to push for summary judgment.

Allonn E. Levy, litigation attorney with Hopkins & Carley in San Jose, Calif., told internetnews.com that SCO's motion in the Novell case is not an unusual one.

"When a party asks for summary judgment, the opposing party may ask the court to delay the motion to allow it to obtain discovery necessary to defend against the motion," Levy said.

"The idea is a sensible one, since courts are not interested in granting judgment in favor of one party without giving the other party the opportunity to gather whatever evidence it needs to properly oppose judgment.

"In short, it's an issue of basic fairness."

The unusual part according to Levy is the length of the stay that SCO is requesting and the fact that SCO is also complaining that Novell is coordinating its activities with IBM in order to gain a tactical advantage.

"SCO's papers don't really provide any rationale for waiting until the IBM case resolves and the request is particularly odd given that it was SCO who initiated both lawsuits," Levy commented.

"The same issue is likely to hamper SCO's complaints about IBM coordinating its activities with Novell. The court might legitimately question why SCO, who aggressively pursued multiple avenues of litigation, should now be protected against the consequences of the strategy it implemented."

SCO has been locked in a legal battle with Novell since at least 2004 when it filed suit against Novell in a "slander of title" lawsuit.

Novell claimed in 2003 that, contrary to SCO assertions, Novell still holds the ownership of Unix System V copyrights and patents.