SCO, IBM Not Going to Trial?

The SCO vs. IBM case may never make it to trial.

SCO and IBM have filed court documents asking for summary judgment in a suit originally filed in 2003 over alleged Unix trade-secret violations.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah had imposed a Sept. 25
deadline for the two parties to file their documents related to requests for
summary judgment.

Both SCO and IBM filed materials by the deadline. IBM also now has an extension of the deadline until this Friday for additional
materials related to its push for summary judgment.

Summary judgment, if granted, would effectively mean that the case would not
go to a full trial. Currently SCO and IBM have a looming February 2007 court
date for the trial.

SCO, for its part, also filed a motion for relief based on its allegation that
IBM in some way “spoiled” evidence.

“The SCO Group, Inc. (“SCO”), for the reasons set forth in the Memorandum in
Support of Its Motion For Relief for IBM’s Spoliation of Evidence moves this
Court to (1) enter an order precluding IBM from contesting that it relied on
AIX and Dynix/ptx source code in making contributions to Linux development,” SCO’s court filing states.

SCO goes on to request that the court, “impose an adverse-inference
instruction against IBM, consistent with the common-sense and well
established principle that a party who has notice that evidence is relevant
to litigation and who proceeds to destroy it is more likely to have been
threatened by that evidence than a party in the same position who does not
destroy the evidence.”

The desire to preemptively end or at least to limit the claims involved in
the case is not a new tactic for either party.

In June, 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.

A few weeks later, SCO fought back with an appeal of
Judge Wells’ decision.

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