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SCO abandons trade secret attack on IBM

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The SCO Group abandoned a major rationale of its case against IBM by dropping its trade secret claims. These were the basis, last June, for SCO revoking IBM's UNIX license. IBM didn't blink, and has simply carried on selling its AIX Unix without blinking. But today SCO dropped the trade secrets and claimed breach of copyright instead.

But such claims need proof, and it proved to be another hearing in which the SCO Group vs. IBM without the Utah company showing any infringing code. SCO also admitted to not producing documents that IBM had requested.

In fact, IBM used Darl McBride's braggadocio performance at Harvard this week against him.

Darl McBride had stated that there "is roughly a million lines of code that tie into contributions that IBM has made and that's subject to litigation that is going on. We have basically supplied that."

"No you haven't" IBM replied, "and if you had we'd be seeing them today," in so many words. "SCO has identified no more than around 3,700 lines of code in 17 AIX or Dynix files that IBM is alleged improperly to have to have contributed to Linux." IBM describes this as a "significant disparity." As indeed it is.

"SCO abandons any claim that IBM misappropriated its trade secrets, concedes that SCO has no evidence that IBM improperly disclosed System V code, and acknowledges that SCO's contract case is grounded solely on the proposition that IBM improperly disclosed portions of BM's own AIX or Dynix products, which SCO claims to be derivatives of Unix System V," according to IBM's compliance report on the Court's order from Dec 12.

"SCO refuses to disclose from what lines of UNIX System V code these alleged contributions are supposed to derive, which it must to allege the contributions were improper … and a number of the allegedly improper contributions are not disclosed with adequate particularity (eg SCO claims IBM improperly disclosed "SMP" but does not specify the files or lines of code allegedly 'dumped' into Linux, or the files and lines of Linux in which they are supposedly found. SCO also fails properly to identify and describe all of the materials in Linux to which it claims to have rights and whether, when, to whom, and under what circumstances and terms it ever distributed those materials."

The Judge will rule in around a week. ®

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