“Pay up.” That’s the message that Novell is sending to SCO via the legal
system in a recent legal filing.
The company isn’t about to let SCO off the hook for the money it’s owed by the embattled Unix vendor. SCO filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors in mid September in an attempt to stay alive. The bankruptcy filing also served to delay SCO’s
trial with its largest creditor Novell over Unix copyright issues.
“We have filed with the bankruptcy court to have the stay lifted on the
ongoing District Court case in Utah,” Bruce Lowry, director of global public relations for Novell, said. “That would allow the trial to proceed as was
originally scheduled. A key issue to be addressed in the trial is the
apportionment of the Microsoft and Sun license fees between Novell and
SCO had been collecting what it calls SCOsource licensing revenues from
Microsoft, Sun and others for the rights to use Unix copyrights and
intellectual property that SCO alleges it owns and had acquired from Novell.
An August ruling from the court that is overseeing the case issued a pretrial
summary ruling that, in effect, negated much of SCO’s claims to the Unix
copyrights. Novell and SCO have been locked in legal debate since 2003 over what SCO actually acquired from Novell in terms of Unix
According to Novell’s legal filing to stay SCO’s bankruptcy, Novell doesn’t
want SCO to use Novell’s money to stay afloat.
“SCO’s post-petition business model cannot continue to be based on Novell’s
property,” Novell’s filing states. “If the automatic stay is lifted to allow
for the remaining issues in the District Court action to be timely resolved,
SCO can turn its focus to formulating a confirmable plan of reorganization, because it will know what resources it has, the size of Novell’s claim
(almost surely the largest against SCO) and what SCO can and cannot do as a
business going forward.”
Though the exact size of SCO’s payout to Novell is up to the courts to
decide, SCO in an SEC filing pegged it at $30 million. In addition to fighting off Novell and other creditors, SCO is also in a fight to stave off NASDAQ delisting, which was brought on in part by its bankruptcy filing.