In a ruling filed this week in district court, Judge Brooke Wells agreed with an IBM motion to limit the scope of claims filed by SCO last year.
The companyagainst IBM in 2003, claiming Big Blue's contributions to the Linux operating system included Unix code owned by SCO. IBM its Linux work infringed on any SCO copyrights, and it has questioned the validity of those copyrights.
The most recent ruling concerns whether or not SCO was required to specifically state how IBM had infringed on its copyrights over the "methods and concepts" used to create an operating system.
SCO argued that the description of the methods and concepts it provided to the court was sufficient to show the infringement, but IBM countered that SCO needed to provide information on specific code.
The judge agreed. "SCO's arguments are akin to SCO telling IBM, 'Sorry, we are not going to tell you what you did wrong because you already know,'" Wells wrote in the ruling.
"Our legal team is reviewing the judge's ruling and will determine our next steps in the near future," SCO said in a statement. It still has several claims related to specific code allegedly taken from Unix that were not part of this decision and that will be argued at a trial scheduled for February 2007.
An IBM representative could not immediately be reached for comment.