Judge David Nuffer of the US District court found against SCO's last gasp attempt to work a breach of contract angle in its long-running dispute with IBM and chucked the last two remaining arguments out of court.
In the nineties SCO realised that Linux was going to be big and that many Linux users employed SCO code. It thought that it would licence the code and sent out requests for cash to some key Linux users.
But IBM told SCO to sling its hook but the outfit didn’t. IBM said it would terminate its dealings with SCO and encourage its partners to do the same. SCO attempted to salvage the epic court battle that followed with the defence that IBM told its partners to ignore it.
The judgement finds that while IBM went in hard, it did not interfere with SCO's business relationships. Oracle and Computer Associates may have done less business with SCO, but not at IBM's bidding. In the end it was SCO's strategy and the quality of its products that stuffed it up.
Judge Nuffer added that the fact SCO could not put a dollar figure on its losses was pretty pants.
The judge said that the claim of interference is “either wholly unsupported by the evidence or is not actionable because it is indirect interference or privileged market competition.”
He tossed out SCO's two claims regarding interference and in the order tells the two parties to sit down and agree on whether the dismissal of the claims is the right thing to do and, if so, to assign costs. The parties have been given until February 26 sort that out and have been given a limit of 15 pages of argument to bring to a conference.
IBM still has three live counterclaims, so the case isn't over, but it is starting to look like some of us who were there when this first kicked off might be still alive when it is over.