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SCO Seeks to Derail Red Hat Suit Against It

SCO Seeks to Derail Red Hat Suit Against It

Controversy? What controversy? The SCO Group has asked the District Court in Delaware, where Red Hat is suing SCO, to throw Red Hat's suit out on its ear as groundless. Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulek called the SCO move a "delaying tactic" even though his own suit isn't likely to hit court for 18 months yet. Red Hat wants the security blanket of a declaratory judgment from the court that it hasn't infringed any of SCO's IP or misappropriated any of SCO's trade secrets and that SCO's copyrights and trade secrets are unenforceable against Linux. It wants SCO enjoined from publicly saying that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of SCO's SVR5 code or from claiming it has the right to collect license fees from Linux users. And it wants damages for what it charges are SCO's deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, tortious interference with prospective customers, trade libel and disparagement. SCO's lawyers say Red Hat can't show any threat, even implied, on SCO's part to enforce its IP rights against Red Hat and sue it so Red Hat lacks the basis for a declaratory judgment because there's no real controversy between them, a controversy being the sine qua non of declaratory judgments. Shucks, Red Hat hasn't even alleged it was threatened with a suit and wasn't accused of pilfering SCO's code and throwing it into Linux. IBM was. Anyway, supposed Red Hat could show a threat to sue - and SCO's lawyers shrug off SCO CEO Darl McBride's crack about there being "a day of reckoning for Red Hat...when this is done" - well, the Delaware court still shouldn't wade in, they said, because SCO's property rights will ultimately be decided by SCO's $3 billion suit against IBM out in Utah. Besides, SCO says that that "day of reckoning" business meant that if SCO prevailed in its suit against IBM, Red Hat and SuSE may owe it some money or only then might be hauled into court. It accuses Red Hat of "selective editing" even though it was SCO VP Chris Sontag who "clarified" McBride's statement for a different publication and at a later time. SCO's lawyers also claim that Red Hat is looking for an "advisory opinion" from the court, which is barred by law. And they get to bring in the First Amendment because Red Hat wants SCO to shut up and stop rocking the boat. They also claim that since Red Hat never had a license from SCO it would have been impossible for Red Hat to betray its trade secrets. So what does Red Hat need a declaratory judgment for anyway?

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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