DaimlerChrysler: Dismiss SCO suit

The company asks a judge to throw out the SCO Group's lawsuit against it, one of several high-profile cases that have entangled Linux in SCO's intellectual-property claims over Unix.

DaimlerChrysler has asked a judge to dismiss the SCO Group's lawsuit against the company, one of several high-profile cases that have entangled Linux in SCO's intellectual-property claims over Unix.

In a March lawsuit, SCO charged DaimlerChrysler with breaching the Unix contract between the two companies by refusing to certify compliance with the agreement. But in an April 15 filing in Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan, DaimlerChrysler denied it breached the contract.


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In addition, the automaker argued that it has provided proper certification, contended that its Unix contract wasn't with SCO in the first place, and said the actions of Novell--an earlier owner of Unix intellectual property--undermine SCO's case. And it asked Judge Rae Lee Chabot to dismiss the case.

SCO's cases have sent shock waves through a computing industry increasingly enamored of Linux, a clone of the Unix operating system originally created by AT&T. SCO has threatened to sue Linux users that don't pay for SCO intellectual-property licenses. However, three companies with a major stake in Linux--IBM, Novell and Red Hat--are fighting SCO in court.

In December, SCO sent about 3,000 letters to Unix licensees demanding they certify contract compliance. It sent hundreds more to major companies, arguing that portions of Linux violate SCO's Unix copyrights.

But Novell has fought SCO's argument, saying that when it sold Unix technology to SCO, it didn't transfer Unix copyrights and it retained the right to order SCO to "amend, supplement, modify or waive any rights" of Unix licensees. Indeed, immediately after SCO sent its certification demand letters in December, Novell responded with a letter requiring SCO "immediately to withdraw its demands for certification."

SCO filed the DaimlerChrysler suit the same week as another against AutoZone, a suit that alleges Linux violates SCO's Unix copyrights. SCO also had considered suing Bank of America, a move revealed by uncovering changes hidden in a copy of the DaimlerChrysler suit.


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SCO's suit against DaimlerChrysler centers on the Unix contract--the "DC Software Agreement"--but also argues that Linux is involved in the case. "DC's refusal to certify that it is not violating the DC Software Agreement is also based, in part, on DC's use of Unix technology, in violation of the DC Software Agreement, in migrating its installed base to the Linux operating system," SCO's suit said.

In its response, DaimlerChrysler denied the charge.

DaimlerChrysler's response was reported by Groklaw, a site with detailed discussion of the SCO cases.

SCO's legal case against Linux started with a suit that alleged IBM violated its Unix contract with SCO by moving technology from Unix to Linux. On Friday, SCO responded to IBM's latest countersuit, which argues SCO violated the General Public License (GPL) that governs Linux and infringed three IBM patents.

SCO's response includes more than five pages of detailed argument that assert the three patents are unenforceable and that SCO didn't infringe. In addition, SCO argues that "the GPL is unenforceable, void and/or voidable."

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