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IBM has dropped its a number of patent infringement counterclaims against The SCO Group.

SCO had filed a large number of requests for additional depositions regarding the countersuit, and IBM says it's dropping several claims - but not the suit - to speed up its defense of SCO vs IBM.

"While IBM continues to believe that SCO infringed IBM's valid patents, IBM agreed to withdraw its patent counterclaims to simplify and focus the issues in this case and to expedite their resolution. The little discovery that SCO has produced regarding IBM's patent claims makes clear that there is insufficient economic reason to pursue these claims. Since SCO's sales have been, and are, limited, a finding of infringement would yield only the most modest royalty or award of damages and would not justify the expense of continuing prosecution of these claims," said IBM.

In other words, SCO's dwindling financial resources mean that the reward from winning the countersuit weren't worth the trouble. An impatient Judge Wells also denied SCO's motion to compel IBM to release hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the development history of Linux.

"It's a breathtakingly bold chess move," says Groklaw's Pamela Jones of IBM's decision to drop its lawsuit.

As she explains further -

"There is no money from a plaintiff that has burned through its millions, handing it all over to lawyers chasing a now-popped bubble of a scheme. Oops. Did I say scheme? That doesn't seem like the right word. Did I mean to write scam? No, I probably meant to write dream. That's it. A popped bubble of a dream. Ah! those fading daydreams of second homes -- nay, castles! -- and undeserved millions, just from cynically hitching a piggyback ride on the back of the rising star, Linux. I guess we will get to find out from SCO the answer to poet Langston Hughes' question in his poem, 'Dream Deferred' …"

Which she then quotes, but which we'll spare you. ®

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