IBM in counterattack over SCO Linux lawsuit

7 Aug 2003

In the continuing battle over intellectual property rights surrounding the Linux operating system, IBM has filed counterclaims against SCO.

SCO sued IBM for US$1bn in March, increasing the claim to US$3bn charging that IBM had taken parts of the Unix code and introduced them into Linux, violating SCO’s intellectual property rights.

Separate from the IBM lawsuit, SCO has said that Unix code was copied directly into Linux and seeks payments of as much as US$1,399 per computer from Linux users, sending shockwaves through the IT industry worldwide.

In a further twist to the saga, Linux publisher Red Hat entered the legal fray on Monday by embarking on a seven-count lawsuit that seeks, among other things, a declaratory judgment that Red Hat has not violated SCO’s copyrights or trade secrets.

While IBM already employs close to 3,000 people in Ireland, in June SCO revealed plans to establish its European headquarters in Dublin where initially it will employ 25 staff.

By John Kennedy