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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

And the winner is IBM. And the lawyers milking the case for 13 long years

The long-running SCO vs. IBM case looks like it might just be over.

A new filing (PDF) scooped up by the good folks at Groklaw sees both SCO and IBM agree to sign off on two recent decisions in which SCO's arguments advancing its claims to own parts of Unix were slapped down by the US District Court.

As The Register reads the PDF we've linked to above, and our informal legal counsel concurs, the new document describes IBM and SCO both signing off on the recent court orders. Those orders left SCO without a legal argument to stand on.

The new filing also points out that SCO remains bankrupt and has “has de minimis financial resources beyond the value of the claims on which the Court has granted summary judgment for IBM.”

Or in plain English, SCO is broke and the only asset it possess of any value is its claims against IBM, and now it doesn't even have those because it just lost a court case about them. That leaves SCO in no position to carry on.

“Accordingly,” the new filing continues, “the disposition of SCO’s appeal is the practical course most likely to conserve both judicial and private resources.” That's the legal sense of “disposition”, by the way, so what the document's saying is that SCO giving up its appeal is most likely to stop the courts spending any more time or energy on this matter. Courts don't like wasting resources. So this is both parties explaining that wrapping things up now is a desirable thing.

The filing goes on to say that it's possible to wrap up SCO's case against IBM without upsetting IBM's counter-claim against SCO. On the off-chance IBM wants to return to court to sue Zombie SCO, that is.

Our legal friends therefore reckon this document is probably the final full stop in the long, long, case over whether or not IBM pinched bits of code and used them in its own operating systems.

We're not so certain there's zero possibility of footnotes being required, because the document doesn't mention costs which are yet to be sorted out. But this does look like legal argument in the SCO vs. IBM case is done and dusted. Probably for all time. ®

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