SCO Claims IBM Infringed

Gretchen Gallen
LINDEN, Utah – After weathering a severe virus attack earlier this month waged by the creator of the MyDoom email virus, SCO Group was granted a motion by a U.S. District Court to add copyright infringement to its $3 billion lawsuit against IBM.

The additional claim could bolster SCO Group's court damages to upwards of $5 billion if the judge rules in favor of SCO. IBM stated previous to the ruling that it would not contest SCO's latest legal maneuver, although Big Blue has also stated that SCO Group's allegations in general are 'meritless.'

SCO first filed suit against IBM in March 2003.

The SCO Group has drawn the ire many software developers for enforcing a copyright on the open standard operating system Linux, which SCO claims is based on its Unix code. SCO Group has threatened many companies with legal action if they use Linux without a licensing fee.

In the first portion of SCO Group's lawsuit against Big Blue, the company alleges that IBM used parts of its Unix V operating system in Linux and in doing so violated a contractual agreement,

The gambit of charges filed against IBM include "breach of IBM software agreement, breach of IBM sublicensing agreement, breach of Sequent (a company acquired by IBM) software agreement, breach of Sequent sublicensing agreement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, two separate charges of interference with contract, and interference with business relationships."

SCO is also in litigation with Novell, and in September Red Hat filed a lawsuit against SCO for damaging its reputation with allegations of copyright infringement.

SCO filed suit against Novel in January 2003 claiming that Novell had improperly filed copyright registrations for Unix technology that were already covered by SCO's copyrights, Internetnews reports.

SCO also charged Novell with making false public statements regarding the ownership of Unix and UnixWare.

In the meantime, SCO Group made headway this week by announcing that, a hosting company, has signed an intellectual property licensing agreement for the parts of Linux that include its Unix code.

SCO claims that is the first company to publicly take out a license, but that it isn't the only licensee SCO holds.