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SCO vs. IBM vs. SCO: Is the end in sight?

Big Blue seeks declaratory judgement

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IBM has asked the US courts to absolve it of any claims of copyright infringement made by SCO, a year into the court battle over the ownership of sections of UNIX code.

The company has filed papers with the US District Court in Salt Lake City, seeking a judgement similar to that Red Hat asked for in its countersuit to SCO’s copyright infringement claims.

News.com reports that it asks the court to make a declaratory judgement that "IBM does not infringe, induce the infringement of or contribute to the infringement of any SCO copyright through its Linux activities, including its use, reproduction and improvement of Linux, and that some or all of SCO's purported copyrights in Unix are invalid and unenforceable."

According to GrokLaw, this means IBM defines this as a true copyright fight, not a contract dispute.

The site explains: "SCO will have to prove they own these copyrights now, no matter what the judge rules on SCO's Motion to Remand in the Novell matter. And they will have to show the code they claim is infringing and prove they hold copyright ownership of that code and that the copyrights they hold relate to the allegedly infringing code. Considering that they have publicly admitted that they don't own the copyrights to the allegedly infringing code, it will be interesting to see how they answer this."

The implications for the other parties being sued by SCO are not yet clear. Even if the court grants IBM’s request for a declaratory judgement, SCO could still argue that other cases, such as those against AutoZone and automaker DaimlerChrysler, are not dependent on its suit against IBM.

IBM has also dropped a claim that SCO has infringed on one of its patents, in accordance with SCO’s request that this be split into a separate case. ®

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