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Michigan judge throws out SCO lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler

Everything but one minor claim by SCO was rejected

By Linda Rosencrance
July 21, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - In a move that could have legal ramifications for a number of lawsuits filed in recent months by The SCO Group Inc., a Michigan judge today threw out SCO's lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler AG.
"The judge granted [DaimlerChrysler's] motion for summary judgment except for the claim that [the company] delayed responding to [SCO's] request for certification of compliance," said a spokesman for Judge Rae Lee Chabot.
SCO filed the lawsuit in March in the Circuit Court for the County of Oakland, Mich., claiming that DaimlerChrysler had refused to provide a "certification of compliance" indicating that it was in compliance with a Unix licensing agreement from November 1990. At the same time, SCO filed a separate lawsuit against auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. (see story).
"We are pleased with the judge's ruling, and we look forward to finally resolving the one open issue," Mary Gauthier, a DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman, said today after the decision was handed down.
SCO spokesman Blake Stowell said that the company is reviewing its legal options based on the judge's decision.
"Apart from that, we're really not commenting on what our next steps are in the case," he said.
Stowell said the lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler could have been avoided had the automaker responded to SCO's request for a compliance certification within the allotted 30 days. "It's a little unfortunate that it took a lawsuit for them to respond to what was a real simple letter asking them to certify," he said. "We wish they would have just certified with the first request that came in to begin with."
When it filed the two lawsuits in March, SCO said it was kicking off an offensive against companies using Linux in their businesses. SCO opened its ongoing legal fight in March 2003, when it sued IBM for allegedly contributing some of SCO's System V Unix code to the Linux open-source project illegally. SCO is now seeking at least $5 billion in damages from IBM, which has countersued in that fight.
In April, DaimlerChrysler filed court documents arguing it had filed the necessary compliance certification -- even though it did not feel it was required to do so because it had not used the software for more than seven years (see story).

In court filings dated April 15, the automaker argued that it had "provided SCO with the only certification required under the license demonstrating that DaimlerChrysler is not even using and has not used the licensed software for more than seven years." The filings referred to two letters dated April 6 that were sent by DaimlerChrysler to Bill Broderick, Lindon,



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