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SCO auctions Unix and mobile assets to continue fight

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SCO Group has announced plans to auction off its Unix and mobile products to ensure their survival while continuing its long-running fight over alleged violations of its IP in Linux.

The company announced the auction of its Unix OpenServer and mobile businesses as part of a re-organization plan, which has been formally submitted to a bankruptcy court in Delaware.

In logic reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld's "have sex, to save the friendship", SCO said that by selling off OpenServer and SCO Mobile Server, the products' on-going development could be ensured as future revenue would stay with these products.

More to the point, though, the auction should ensure that the remainder of SCO can continue its legal fight free of the distractions of product development while raising much-needed cash to fund the battle.

Jeff Hunsaker, president and chief operating officer, said in a statement: "One goal of this approach is to separate the legal defense of our intellectual property rights from our core product business."

The company claimed interest from "several" investment groups. It noted, though, that should the auction fail to yield the desired sale then it would continue to offer and support OpenServer, SCO Mobile Server, and select mobile applications. SCO warned, though, they'd be "supplemented by certain cost-cutting measures and by pricing and licensing options."

SCO has spent the best part of this decade embroiled in a legal battle on numerous fronts claiming ownership of Linux and violations of its associated intellectual property in Linux.

The company filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and re-organization in September 2007 to "ensure business as usual" as the legal fight drained its resources. Last year a US judge declared Novell the owner of Unix properties that SCO had claimed, and heaped further financial woe on the burdened company by ordering SCO to pay Novell $2.5m as part of his finding. ®

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