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

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 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.

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