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February 22, 2006

IBM subpoenas Microsoft, others in SCO case

Posted by David Hunter at 11:15 AM ET.

Here’s an interesting twist as reported by Graeme Wearden at CNET:

Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and BayStar Capital must hand over details of their involvement with SCO Group, as IBM builds its defenses against the charge that it included SCO’s Unix code in Linux.

The long-running legal battle between IBM and SCO over the claim that Linux violates SCO’s intellectual property took another twist on Tuesday, when IBM sent subpoenas to four other tech players.

The subpoenas demand that Microsoft, HP, Sun and BayStar hand over a range of information, including details of their dealings with SCO, by March 7. They will also have to appear in court later in March to give depositions.

Microsoft’s subpoena runs to 13 separate demands. They include handing over details of agreements relating to any Unix product involving Microsoft and SCO, and all communications between the two companies. In early 2003, Microsoft started paying SCO what eventually grew to $16.6 million for a Unix license, according to regulatory filings. Only longtime Unix fan Sun previously paid close to that, with a $9.3 million license deal. Microsoft provided a second, though indirect, boost in August or September of 2003, when it referred SCO to BayStar, a fund that arranged a $50 million investment.

BayStar must hand over details of its communications, agreements and investments in SCO. It must also reveal communications between it and Microsoft regarding SCO, IBM and the ongoing court case.

More by following the link and at Groklaw which published the full text of the subpoenas.

Hold on to your hats! IBM has subpoenaed Microsoft! And Sun! At last, we’re getting to the core of the matter. We’re going to get to find out the whole story. I’d pay for this. No kidding. Feast your eyes on these and don’t skip the topics for deposition…

The subtext here is the suspicion that SCO was encouraged by other parties to sue IBM as a way of inhibiting the growth of Linux.

Filed under Coopetition, IBM, Legal, Linux, Open Source, SCO

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