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SCO Asks to Delay IBM Case by Five Months.

SCO Group Inc has asked for a five-month delay to its long-running court battle with IBM Corp, arguing that it does not have time to get the information it wants from IBM.

The Lindon, Utah-based Unix vendor launched its breach of contact and copyright infringement action against IBM in March 2003, claiming that IBM had contributed Unix System V code to Linux.

A five-week jury trial was due to start on April 11, 2005 but SCO has now asked the court to put that back to September 2005. The discovery portion of the case has been ongoing for several months and was scheduled to end in October 2004. SCO has also asked the court to put the fact discovery deadline back to May 2005 and the expert discovery deadline back to July 2005, giving it more time to build a case against IBM.

The company claims that it needs the extra time in order to respond to IBM's counterclaims that SCO has violated the GPL and violated its copyright and patents and also because of US Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells' December order staying the discovery process for 30 days "other than certain discovery actions of SCO covered by the order", according to SCO.

In raising this as a reason for delay, the company appears to risk upsetting the court, however. The stay in the discovery process was introduced after the Court ordered SCO to specify which Linux files and lines of code it has rights to, and also identify whether it made any such code available to the public.

SCO was ordered to act after IBM filed two separate motions to compel discovery in October and November 2003, in which IBM asked the court to force SCO to reveal in detail what its claims are and what evidence it has.

Despite the court order, SCO failed to do so and in March was then given an additional 45 days, while IBM was also given 45 days to deliver to SCO details of the contributions it has made to Linux, releases of its AIX and Dynix Unix operating systems and the identification of 1,000 of its most important potential witnesses. The deadline for both companies to produce the requested evidence and details is April 19.

In its request for delay SCO also argued that "IBM's conduct during discovery has frustrated SCO's ability to complete discovery in the time allotted under the Scheduling Order", but then appeared to counter its own argument by stating that "the day after the stay was lifted, IBM sent AIX source code to SCO for the first time." SCO's statement appears to overlook the fact that the Court's order specifically postponed all other discovery until SCO had detailed its evidence.

SCO has continually argued in front of the Court that it needs access to IBM's source code before it can detail what code it believes has been passed into Linux, an argument rejected by Judge Wells in December.
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Title Annotation:SCO Group Inc.
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 9, 2004
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