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SCO versus IBM still not dead after SCO lawyers file yet another appeal

SCO, the now-defunct Unix vendor that claimed that Linux infringed its intellectual property and sought as much as $5bn in compensation from IBM, has filed notice of yet another appeal in the 13-year-old dispute – just when everyone thought that the case had finally been laid to rest.

The appeal comes after a ruling at the end of February when SCO’s arguments claiming intellectual property ownership over parts of Unix were rejected by a US district court. That judgment noted that SCO had minimal resources to defend counter-claims filed by IBM due to SCO’s bankruptcy.

In a filing, Judge David Nuffer argued that “the nature of the claims are such that no appellate court would have to decide the same issues more than once if there were any subsequent appeals“, effectively suggesting that the case had more than run its course.

And on the 1 March that filing was backed up by the judge’s full explanation, declaring IBM the emphatic victor in the long-running saga. “IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that pursuant to the orders of the court entered on July 10, 2013, February 5, 2016, and February 8, 2016, judgment is entered in favour of the defendant and plaintiff’s causes of action are dismissed with prejudice,” stated the document.

Now, though, SCO has filed yet again to appeal that judgment, although the precise grounds they are claiming haven’t yet been disclosed.

SCO is being represented by the not-inexpensive law firm of Boise, Schiller Flexner, who successfully represented the US government against Microsoft in the anti-trust case in the late 1990s. Although SCO is officially bankrupt, it’s unclear who continues to bankroll the case. Its one remaining “asset” is its claims for damages against IBM.

Meanwhile, despite the costs of the case, IBM has fought SCO vigorously, refusing even to throw a few million dollars at the company by way of compensation, which would encourage what remains of the company to pursue other, presumably easier, open-source targets.

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