SCO’s DaimlerChrysler Case Crashes

The SCO Group’s breach of contract lawsuit against
automobile manufacturer DaimlerChrysler came to a crashing halt Wednesday
afternoon, after a judge ruled in favor of a dismissal motion.

Lindon, Utah-based SCO sued its
one-time customer March 3 for failing to provide documentation certifying
its systems were abiding by the terms of the SCO licensing agreement.

Judge Rae Lee Chabot of the Michigan District Court in the County of Oakland
ruled in favor of all counts in DaimlerChrylser’s motion for summary
disposition except for one, the one that deals with the time it took for the
automobile company to respond to a certification letter sent by SCO requesting license compliance.

“Obviously, we’re very pleased with the court’s ruling, and we look forward
to resolving the remaining issue,” said Florian Martens, a spokesperson with
DaimlerChrysler.

It’s a setback for the software vendor currently embroiled in a $5
billion
lawsuit against IBM , which SCO claims
swiped source code from its Unix System V copyright and placed it into the
Linux kernel.

SCO expanded its efforts against its customer base, telling them they had 30
days to certify that their systems were abiding by the provisions of their
license agreement and weren’t using Linux. SCO claims Linux is a derivative
of its Unix code; it planned to make DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone public
examples for those who failed to certify their compliance.

But the suit against DaimlerChrysler went bad from the very beginning. After it was filed, lawyers for DaimlerChrysler fired back with a motion
for summary disposition, which claimed the car company had not used SCO’s
software in more than seven years, so the company was obviously in
compliance with SCO licensing provisions.

The only claim by DaimlerChrysler lawyers that didn’t get the judge’s
approval was the one which said it didn’t break any breach of contract
stipulations for not responding to SCO’s certification letter within 30
days. According to DaimlerChrysler lawyers, the SCO agreement doesn’t have
any clause stating it has 30 days to do so.

Martens said he doesn’t know what will happen with the case’s sole claim
outstanding, saying it’s up to SCO lawyers to determine whether to pursue or
just drop the case entirely.

Blake Stowell, a SCO spokesperson, said the ruling wasn’t unexpected and
leaves the door open for the company’s lawyers to look into why it took so long for
DaimlerChrysler to send the certification letter.

“The only reason we really filed our lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler to
begin with was because they had not certified their compliance with the
software agreement they had signed,” he said. “It was only after we had
filed litigation that they sent us a letter back saying they certified their
compliance.”

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