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IBM draws first blood in SCO Linux battle

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SCO has lost the first round in its legal battle to assert intellectual rights over Linux. A federal court ruled Friday (December 5) that SCO must respond within 30 days to IBM's demands that SCO hand over "all source code and other material in Linux ... to which plaintiff has rights".

SCO claims ownership over "millions of lines" of code in Linux and accuses IBM of illegally donating chunks of its Unix operating system to the Open Source operating system. It is sueing IBM for £3bn and if successful, it will have a strong platform for claiming royalties from companies which have built products on Linux.

Following Friday's ruling, SCO has to follow a strict deadline by the end of which it must set out exactly the ways in which IBM is said to infringe its IP. Also it must prove that IBM, rather than SCO, distributed Unix source code into Linux.

IBM spokesperson Trink Guarino told eWeek: "We are very pleased the court has indicated it will compel SCO to finally back up its claims instead of relying on marketplace FUD." ®

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