The SCO Group (SCO), the owner of the UNIX operating system, announced today that it has filed legal action against IBM in the State Court of Utah, for misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract.
The complaint alleges that IBM made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM’s new Linux services business.
IBM originally entered into their UNIX license agreement with AT&T in February 1985 in order to produce the AIX operating system. These agreements require that the UNIX software code be held in confidence, and prohibit unauthorised distribution or transfer.
In 1995, SCO purchased the rights and ownership of UNIX and UnixWare that had been originally owned by AT&T. This included source code, source documentation, software development contracts, licenses and other intellectual property that pertained to UNIX-related business.
SCO became the successor in interest to the UNIX software licenses originally licensed by AT&T Bell Laboratories to all UNIX distributors, including HP, IBM, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, and many others.
As a result of IBM’s alleged unfair competition and the marketplace injury sustained by SCO, SCO is requesting damages in an amount to be proven at trial, of no less than $1 billion, together with additional damages.
SCO is also demanding that IBM cease alleged anti-competitive practices based on specific requirements sent in a notification letter to IBM. According to a statement, If these requirements are not met, SCO will have the authority to revoke IBM’s AIX license.
‘SCO is in the enviable position of owning the UNIX operating system,’ said Darl McBride, president and CEO, SCO. ‘It is clear from our stand point that we have an extremely compelling case against IBM. SCO has more than 30,000 contracts with UNIX licensees and upholding these contracts is as important today as the day they were signed.’
A copy of SCO’s complaint is on file with the State Court of Utah and can also be found at <A HREF=’http://www.sco.com/scosource’>SCOsource</A>