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SCO Denied Again In Court

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the can't-they-catch-a-break dept.

Unix 204

CDWalton writes "Groklaw has the latest in the SCO v. IBM case. Judge Wells denied SCO the opportunity to get depositions from involved parties after the date she had specified as the cutoff for those activities." From the article: "Brent Hatch started out talking about the request to take the depositions of Intel, Oracle, and The Open Group. Judge Wells brought up her October 12, 2005 order and said that depositions MUST be completed by the cutoff date. That any that cannot be taken by that date must be forgone. Brent stated that they properly noticed the depositions before the cutoff date and that they were not taken for reasons outside his, or his client's, control ... Judge Wells asked if the subpeonas were defective in some manner. Hatch: Yes, they were."

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204 comments

FP again (0, Offtopic)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801011)

Got frost pist again...

Re:FP again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801045)

Got frost pist again...
Don't pee outside in cold weather and you won't have that problem.

Re:FP again (0, Offtopic)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801368)

Mythbusters busted that myth.

Re:FP again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801482)

Mythbusters obviously didn't go to a cold enough place. Try it at -50C. Or rather, don't, or the "pist" won't be the only thing "frost". I've had this happen (north-eastern BC, just south of the Yukon)

Re:FP again (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801516)

I've had this happen (north-eastern BC, just south of the Yukon)
So you didn't manage to get your name down, but did the full-stop, right?

Why do cases take long? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801012)

I am wondering:

Why do cases like SCO vs IBM take too long to resolve? Are inefficiencies in the justice system to take part of the blame?

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Insightful)

Odensgatan15 (898128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801049)

Because lawyers get paid by the hour. That's why.

Re:Why do cases take long? (2, Informative)

DietFluffy (150048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801408)

In-house lawyers (all large corporations use them) are not paid by the hour.

Re:Why do cases take long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801532)

Even big companies hire outside law firms from time to time...

Re:Why do cases take long? (2, Informative)

DietFluffy (150048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801567)

i take that back, in this case both ibm and sco are being represented by ouside firms

Cap on legal fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801539)

Actually, SCO's counsel have agreed to a cap on legal fees. They're already at that cap.

Re:Why do cases take long? (3, Informative)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801053)

For just the reasons laid out in the story: SCO have been dragging their feet every step of the way.

Re:Why do cases take long? (3, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801236)

I think the fact that SCO is able to drag it's feet is result of the inefficiency of the system. SCO has so far not been asked to make a specific accusation yet for gods sake. They have changed their complaint mid stream too. How is that not inefficient?

SCO started out this case by making a copyright violation accusation. Nobody is the court system said "which copyright, when and how?". During the pre-trial phase (more then two years!!!!!) they dropped that complaint and went on to other complaints.

Why hasn't anybody asked SCO what bits of unix they own, what pieces SCO alleges Ibm stole. They still haven't said what IBM stole form them.

Finally. Novell claims they own UNIX, not SCO. SHouldn't that case be settled first? If SCO does not own unix then this whole case has been a wasted time.

Re:Why do cases take long? (3, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801471)

Their ability to drag their feet is not really an inefficiency in the system. The delays are perhaps abuses of the system. The system itself will run as efficiently as the parties want it to. Given willing and cooperative parties, justice can be dispensed very quickly. In this case, SCO doesn't want to move the case forward as they know it is a loser. They seem to be hoping that they can keep hanging around long enough that someone will pay them off to go away and they can declare victory. They don't seem to be willing to read the tea leaves here as it seems clear that IBM is not going to bite.

Re:Why do cases take long? (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801493)

And at what point do judges deal out barretry charges? Isn't it against the law to sue for the sake of suing?

Re:Why do cases take long? (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801549)

Welcome to America.... if trial lawyers could not sue unless the other party could actually be shown to be negligent to people with some intelligence, they would all starve to death. Look at the millions they collected on the breast implant cases. Yet there was never a single scientific study that could show a connection between the implants and their conditions.

You are incorrect. (4, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801501)

SCO has so far not been asked to make a specific accusation yet for gods sake.

You are incorrect. SCOX has been not only been "asked", but they have beeb ORDERED to specify what their allegations are, on *THREE* separate occasions. They've failed to do so (while claiming they have) each and every time.

The last time they did it, they filed everything under seal, so that nobody besides IBM can point out that they've failed again (and yes, IBM has pointed it out to the court - out of the 294 items that SCOX filed, IBM has said that only one (yes, *ONE*) is "specific" enough for the court, but that one doesn't actually identify anything that IBM did.

Why hasn't anybody asked SCO what bits of unix they own, what pieces SCO alleges Ibm stole.

Again, they did (and not just "asked", but *ordered*, by a federal judge.)

They still haven't said what IBM stole form them.

This bit is correct, but that doesn't mean that nobody has "asked".

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Informative)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801064)

Asside from the fact that judges work on several cases at the same time, so they have to schedule things, there are HUGE amounts of documents involved in a case like this.

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801095)

The legal system is full of loopholes, extensions, exceptions, and other silly rules that are designed to cover up for inadequecies in other laws. This helps to give everyone a fair chance by providing an abundance of opportunities to get justice, but as a result, the cockroaches that are running from the light have plenty of dark corners to hide for awhile. It usually delays the inevetable, but in some cases if they stall for time long enough it can work out in their favor. Though it also can mean the farther you lift the hammer in the air, the harder it hits when at last it lands. I'm looking forward to SCO getting "nailed". It will be entertaining to watch their entire world suddenly collapse in on itself under the weight of justice, as the last of their shoddy bracing gives way at once.

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801102)

Cases like SCO v IBM take such a very long time to resolve for several reasons.

1. The case is complicated. They're dealing with a web of contracts and code dating back decades.

2. Judges give everyone lots of time for *discovery* to minimize opportunities for appealing the decision later on. It'd be a massive waste if they spent years litigating a case, only to get it overturned during appeal because of something that would have only added a week to the discovery process.

3. IBM hasn't been pushing for an accelerated time table because of #2. IBm, like the Judge, doesn't want to win & then have to spend another 10 years in Appeals Courts.

So... no, I don't think you can blame inefficiencies. Or if there are inefficiencies, they are left in place in order to avoid greater inefficiencies.

SCO's lawyers have fucked up this case in so many ways that the Judge is beginning to seriously lose patience. I'm actually quite amazed that the Judge has given them so much slack up till this point.

Re:Why do cases take long? (3, Funny)

AnonymousPrick (956548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801165)

I'm actually quite amazed that the Judge has given them so much slack up till this point.

The more slack; the more rope to hang themselves.

Prostitute Schedule for Feb. 25 at the MBOT in SF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801187)

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I kid you not.

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Re:Why do cases take long? (5, Funny)

Jacco de Leeuw (4646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801284)

So, to sum it all up.

The good news: IBM is spending one billion dollar on Linux. The bad news: it is all going to their lawyers...

Courts are supposed to be (1)

mliikset (869292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801454)

equitable and correct rather than efficient. In some cases, BOTH parties come to court with the sincere belief that they are being wronged. Many losing parties still refuse to admit they were in the wrong, and often want to appeal, even when they know better. That's partly why lawyers charge so much on an hourly basis, to discourage (it doesn't always, obviously) frivolous or ill-conceived actions. Otherwise, I might sue for every affront I encounter, in hopes of striking it rich. Some people do, but more would, if efficient disposition were the main objective. Having said that, SCO is trying to put a pretty and intelligent looking face on dishonesty, and the longer they delay the outcome, the more people they can persuade.

Re:Courts are supposed to be (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801665)

and the longer they delay the outcome, the more people they can persuade.

In particular, the stock market analysts who were reacting positively to every lying piece of propaganda that SCO was issuing as "press releases", pumping the stock up so Darl & friends could extract some more cash.

Re:Why do cases take long? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801644)

This may all be correct, but it gives a plaintiff way much too leeway for nuisance lawsuits.
I think there should be a requirement that you have to bring some evidence at the beginning of the lawsuit, else the court can just throw out your case. In that case, SCO vs. IBM would have been a lot shorter ;-)

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Interesting)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801132)

Not really. The problem with cases like this is that there's one party involved (SCO, in this case) that is not actually interested in a quick resolution - or any resolution at all. Quite the opposite, actually; SCO has been and still is trying everything it can to stall the trial as much as possible, and it will continue to do so in the future.

The reason for this is that they're ultimately paid by M$ (and maybe Sun) to create trouble - the whole trial is just a vehicle for FUD, meant to create doubt in middle and high management whether Linux is "safe" to use. Attacks from a technical perspective didn't work, so now they're trying to spread legal FUD - the same thing they've already done with patents and the like, too. The judge is probably well aware of all this, but the court still has to assume good faith and act as if the case potentially has merit.

It's not clear to me how to deal with problems like this without also adversely affecting those who actually *do* have a good reason to sue and who *are* interested in a quick resolution (where it's possible).

Re:Why do cases take long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801220)

> The reason for this is that they're ultimately paid by M$ (and maybe Sun) to create trouble - the whole trial is just a vehicle for FUD, meant to create doubt in middle and high management whether Linux is "safe" to use.

Yes, and the answer is "Companies like IBM will go to bat with all the power they can muster in support of Linux".

Oops.

Re:Why do cases take long? (1, Interesting)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801274)

Not really. The problem with cases like this is that there's one party involved (SCO, in this case) that is not actually interested in a quick resolution - or any resolution at all

The truth is that other party, IBM, also wants to strech this out even longer than SCO does, in order to bankrupt them. That's why IBM has loaded up the case with stupid patent claims, investigations into Microsoft, fights over old AIX source code and a bunch of other stuff which prevents a quick resolution.

IBM is representing IBM here, not concerned Linux users who want SCO FUD dismissed quickly. The reality is that the case will go on forever because neither party really wants it to end.

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801385)

IBM dropped the patent claims nearly a year ago, so as to expedite the case.

IBM also file several summary judgement motions and the court told them to stop doing that until after discovery.

I don't think you can say that IBM is dragging this out.

Re:Why do cases take long? (4, Interesting)

Stripe7 (571267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801282)

What looks really interesting the IBM supoena's to HP, M$, SUN and Baystar. When the house of cards SCO builds finally gets blown away, will it reveal itself as a FUD campaign by those 4? If so does it open up those companies for lawsuits by IBM, RedHat, etc..?

Re:Why do cases take long? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801148)

Why do cases like SCO vs IBM take too long to resolve? Are inefficiencies in the justice system to take part of the blame?

Maybe, but people will always be able to drag their feet, beg for exceptions, take the indirect route, stall for time, etc etc... People will always try to bend the rules or break the system, and it takes especially unscrupulous people to try and figure out ways around whatever's in the spirit of justice.

Those who are trying to preserve justice will similarly make laws without taking everything into account that someone who tries to avoid justice would try and do. Maybe the only way you could make the perfect system is if you could see both sides perfectly.

Re:Why do cases take long? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801173)

Since these cases are so large and complex, extra time is needed to make sure all sides get their fair day in court and the judgment is accurate afterwards.

Re:Why do cases take long? (1)

bigpicture (939772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801660)

Court cases that involve huge amounts of money, about $3B in this case, usually take a fair amount of time anyway. In this case the motives of SCO are suspect because they seem to have a very weak case, and are dragging it out at every opportunity.

So the real issue may not be about money changing hands only, but about trying to keep Linux in a negative limelight with businesses, for as long as possible.

There are suspicions that MS is somewhere behind all this, and that is why IBM have subpoenaed all their records that relate to their dealings with SCO.

DENIED! HAHA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801013)

You know that was your first thought.

Re:DENIED! HAHA! (1)

speed_of_light (930261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801317)

No, my first thought was "Gee whiz, I hope no one responds 'DENIED! HAHA!'" It doesn't meet the level of sophistication expected of members of /.

What I find interesting (2, Interesting)

LennyDotCom (26658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801030)

I have been watching SCO's stock price for over a year. It goes from about $4.25 to $3.80 and goes back and forth every few days. Somebody is probably making big bucks buying and selling every few days.

Re:What I find interesting (2)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801073)

Well, 3 step plan to get rich yourself:
1. Buy SCO Stock at 3.80 for all what you got
2. Sell everything at 4.25 and short as much as you can
3. Start over at 1.

Re:What I find interesting (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801109)

Liqudity by month:

January: 100,000 dollars
February: 0 dollars
March: 120,000 dollars
April: 0 dollars
May: 150,000 dollars
June: 0 dollars
July: 190,000 dollars
August: 0 dollars
September: 0 dollars
October: 0 dollars
November: 0 dollars
December: 0 dollars

"He's dead, Jim"

Re:What I find interesting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801115)

> Somebody is probably making big bucks buying and selling every few days.

Yeah, they're called brokers.

Seriously though, SCO's stock is so thinly traded, there's probably more IBM stock given as gifts every day than SCO ever moves in a week. All that's happening is a slow leak as the directors of SCO make their regular scheduled sales (they aren't buying their own stock, no sir) and those sales just end up in the hands of institutional investors who are keeping them on the minus side of a hedge (hedge fund logic is weird) or other cronies of McBride & Yarro. SCO's stock movement isn't even a tempest in a teapot. More like lukewarm brownian motion.

They do however enjoy the highest short ratio on Wall Street. If they get hit with a short squeeze, it will take something like *weeks* of trading just to cover the shorts... at which point if IBM decides that buying out SCO might offer the greatest insult-to-injury potential (who says corporations don't feel spite?) they might offer a shiny new nickel to cover them all and make SCOX go away forever.

IANAPI (I Am Not a Professional Investor), I just play one on Slashdot :)

Many wash trades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801164)

As Melanie Hollands pointed out a long time ago, SCOX is closely held and thinly traded. That kind of situation is prone to all kinds of abuse. Most of the stockholders are institutional and seem to wash the shares back and forth just to keep the price up. It isn't the kind of market where the usual supply and demand rules apply.

Re:What I find interesting (4, Interesting)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801266)

Somebody is probably making big bucks buying and selling every few days.

Maybe like a game of hot potato. One day someone is going to wake up and find it worth $0.00.

Why, IBM is laying down a trap for SCO. Plain as day the longer SCO goes on the more IBM can claim for expenses and damages. When SCO can't pay, IBM gets SCO licenses and SCO is history.

Re:What I find interesting (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801486)

When SCO can't pay, IBM gets SCO licenses and SCO is history.
They coulda just bought a license for 600 bucks...
[Ducks]

Re:What I find interesting (2, Informative)

dmbrun (907271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801444)

Well no.

The trouble is that so many people bought SCO stock - shorted is the correct term in this case - in the expectation that it would be worthless in the future and they would make a killing. This hasn't happened, the case is still going and SCO are still in existent, so that the buyers are having to front up with the cash to cover the shorts. This explains the price.

Try this link, SCO is briefly mentioned.

linkhttp://www.fool.com/news/commentary/2005/comme ntary05080403.htm?source=eptyholnk303100&logvisit= y&npu=y&bounce=y&bounce2=y [fool.com]

Re:What I find interesting (1)

DietFluffy (150048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801610)

that doesn't mean anyone is making money. in fact, that means that on average, sco shareholders are on average not making or losing money.

Those lousy SCO crooks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801033)

They're worse than Creationists... or even Wikipedia editors.

Bets on who will win?! (1, Flamebait)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801084)

Without knowing the outcome of this rediculousness, I already know who the winners are going to be--the lawyers. Wow. I kinda wish I was getting billable time out of this trial, because by the time it gets settled, I would have enough to retire!

Re:Bets on who will win?! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801142)

SCO's lawyers are going to get jack squat in extra fees after a certain point.

SCO setup some weird lump sum payment plan way back near the beginning of the trial. The law firm doesn't get a penny more unless they win, and then any $$$ they get is a percentage of SCO's winnings.

Or something like that. It was a long time ago.

Re:Bets on who will win?! (1)

peektwice (726616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801214)


So the lawyers are bleeding (or already have bled) SCO dry while SCO attempts (and fails) to bleed IBM dry. IBM is very, very good at the legal game. Don't forget that they won a trial against the government, which has an unlimited budget to prosecute these things.

IBM has lawyers on the payroll all the time, and has deep pockets for the high priced ones they bring in for trials like this. I don't know who is getting rich, but I bet they don't retire.

Re:Bets on who will win?! (1)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801308)

IBM is very, very good at the legal game.

Indeed, and thats why they were a somewhat foolish target for attempts to undermine the preception of linux. Sure, IBM is high profile, and that helps at the beginning, but its not nearly as helpful to the anti-linux crowd when IBM wins.

Re:Bets on who will win?! (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801399)

SCO's lawyers are going to get jack squat in extra fees after a certain point.... The law firm doesn't get a penny more unless they win

Sounds to me like the law firm has a disincentive to put any real work into the case after that certain point. Much beyond it, I can imagine this conversation:

"We've got some more paperwork to do with the SCO case"
"Give it to the work experience kid after he's finished getting everyone's coffee"

Re:Bets on who will win?! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801210)

because by the time it gets settled, I would have enough to retire!

Dude! By the time this case is over, it will be time to retire.

IANAL, so...... (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801089)

Can anyone tell me what the article is talking about? Tried reading it, but I just don't understand...

Re:IANAL, so...... (2, Insightful)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801171)

The gist of it:
"Magistrate Wells supposes that the court orders and rules are for no other purpose than to be broken."

Essentially, SCO asked for information and IBM responded with a deluge of 340,000 documents. SCO is unable to process the information and the magistrate is getting annoyed.

Wrong (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801437)

The judge is getting annoyed that she made a court order in October that all discovery must be done by febuary, but SCO is asking for an extension because they (probablly intentionally) screwed up.

Re:IANAL, so...... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801664)

Essentially, SCO asked for information and IBM responded with a deluge of 340,000 documents.

I just want to point out that from what I've read SCO asked for almost every piece of information on everything related to Unix/AIX and Linux dating back decades. If they're unable to process it, it is because they got exactly what they asked for.

Re:IANAL, so...... (2, Informative)

mck9 (713554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801413)

Judge Wells had set a deadline for the close of discovery, i.e. the process whereby the litigants can ask each other -- or third parties -- for disclosures of information via documents, depositions, and the like. There are certain exception to this deadline but they don't apply here.

SCO waited till the last minute to subpoena Intel, Oracle, and The Open Group, demanding that they provide witnesses for depositions. Besides being needlessly delayed, these subpoenas were procedurally defective in almost every way imaginable.

Naturally, the subpoenaed parties didn't show up for the scheduled depositions. That gave SCO an excuse to whine to the judge that they needed more time to do their depositions, because those other companies were misbehaving.

The judge's reply was, in essence: If you wanted to depose these people, you should have done it sooner, and you should have done it right. I gave you a deadline, I meant what I said, and now your time is up. You'll just have to do without those depositions.

Well put! Just a few additions: (4, Insightful)

rewinn (647614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801557)

From the article:

1. "...the January 12th subpoena was defective in both substance and service." The subpoena is a document compelling the other side to show up at a deposition with certain documents, ready to talk about certain topics. Its substance was basically its content, what it was intended to communicate. The service is the procedure by which the document creator gives it to the target person (organization) in a legally effective way. The judge says the subpoena was defective in both characteristics, so it's not legally binding.

2. "...That even had it not been defective it provided inadequate notice and time.
Judges like to give 2nd reasons, when available, for their decisions, out of meticulousness (which is a good thing in a judge) or desire to forestall appeals (not a bad thing). Here, the judge is saying that even if she was wrong about point #1, the subpoena is no good because it didn't fulfill legal requirements as to the amount of time before the deposition that the subpoena has to be delivered, and warning (notice) about the content of the deposition. Ideally, depositions are not supposed to be occasions for surprising witnesses with weird questions, but a Search For The Truth, so witnesses are supposed to be given fair notice & time to prepare.

3. "[the judge's] October 12th orders were clear, not subject to unilateral decisions to violate."
TRANSLATED: the judge is really, really pissed. SCO's lawyers are giving totally bogus arguments, in her evaluation, which not only needlessly delays this particular case, but also strikes at the integrity of the entire judicial process.

It appears from this article that SCO believes its only hope would seem to be to bait the judge into saying or doing something stupid, like Judge Jackson in the Microsoft case a few years back.

Not quite... Re:IANAL, so...... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801612)

I gave you a deadline, I meant what I said, and now your time is up. You'll just have to do without those depositions.
Not quite. They're not being forced to proceed without the depositions. The judge gave them the opportunity to renew:
Judge Wells returns from chambers about five minutes later. She says that she will deny SCO's motion to compel without predjudice. That SCO has 30 days to renew and MUST clearly and narrowly define documents required.

USPTO - perpetual motion machines (2, Funny)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801117)

Submitted: that on the evidence of the SCO case, the USPTO should review its ban on claims to have developed perpetual motion machines. The SCO share price oscillates continuously without the input of external energy, and the air emerging from the case is at a higher temperature than the input air, showing that energy is continuously being extracted.

Although this is not directly related to the SCO case, which is about copyright and licensing rather than patents, it could be argued that the decision of the USPTO to award patents based on software or business processes has created the conditions in which legally based perpetual motion machines are feasible.

Re:USPTO - perpetual motion machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801192)

You missed the most important word - perpetual. I dont think this will last forever :)

Re:USPTO - perpetual motion machines (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801198)

Submitted: that on the evidence of the SCO case, the USPTO should review its ban on claims to have developed perpetual motion machines.

Unless memory serves me even worse than usual today, your premise is false. You can file a patent on a perpetual motion machine if you choose -- but to do so, you have to submit a working model to the PTO with the application.

Note that at one time, submitting a working model was required for all patent applications. They removed this requirement for other patents, but retained it for perpetual motion machines.

Silly patent trivia: just recently (on Valentine's day, in case anybody cares) the US PTO granted patent number seven million. For a bit of interesting irony, the first (truly) seven-million series patent (700000001) was granted to Research In Motion -- the Blackberry people who are (of course) currently in the lawsuit with NTP over patents...

Re:USPTO - perpetual motion machines (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801388)

You can file a patent on a perpetual motion machine if you choose -- but to do so, you have to submit a working model to the PTO with the application.

Presumably, then, they'll only award the patent once they're satisfied it works. So if someone did submit a patent for a perpetual motion machine that actually worked, he'd have to sit around until the end of the universe to be granted his patent.

From this we can assume that perpetual motion machines are effectively exempt from patent protection. No wonder nobody's developing one!

Re:USPTO - perpetual motion machines (1)

TomRitchford (177931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801490)

Actually, your PMM model only has to work in their office for one year [nationalgeographic.com]. A real PMM could do that standing on its head.

Re:USPTO - perpetual motion machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801506)

without the input of external energy

Actually there are significant amounts of money flowing just below the surface of this thing providing the energy to keep it in motion.

All these legal costs are piling up.. (2, Insightful)

AnonymousPrick (956548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801184)

at the shareholder's expense. When this is over, and if/when SCO loses, there's going to be a shareholder lawsuit. I guaaraannnteee it! Which will mean the death of SCO as we know it. Sure, it'll come back somehow, restructured and all, but it'll be a eunuch.

Re:All these legal costs are piling up.. (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801219)

Sure, it'll come back somehow, restructured and all, but it'll be a eunuch.

If it happens, the headline should read:
SCO turns from UNIX into eunuchs.

Re:All these legal costs are piling up.. (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801249)

By now the only shareholders SCO has left are the ones who want the suit to go on. It's a lottery stock now. if they win (snicker) then the shareholders get paid, if they don't they lose all their money.

Re:All these legal costs are piling up.. (1)

Zardus (464755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801251)

it'll be a eunuch

Nah, if it were a Eunuch it'd have to sue itself for having too much in common with Unix.

Boss - "My boss says we need some eunuch programmers."
Dilbert - "I think he means UNIX and I already know UNIX."
Boss - "Well, if the company nurse comes by, tell her I said
                          never mind."

Re:All these legal costs are piling up.. - NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801366)

SCO's lawyer fees were capped a while back with a cash/stock deal for Boise, Schiller, Blah Blah.

At this point they're working for free.

Re:All these legal costs are piling up.. (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801390)

Sure, it'll come back somehow, restructured and all, but it'll be a eunuch.

I expect they will go into liquidation and the shareholders will be paid off with the sale of SCO IP (what little there is).

Nope, SCO will be an ex-parrot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801404)

When this is over, and if/when SCO loses.... Which will mean the death of SCO as we know it. Sure, it'll come back somehow, restructured and all....

Many of us long-time Groklaw followers believe that SCO will be ground to dust and scattered to the winds. IBM's legal team (called "the Nazgul" around Groklaw) hooked them on counter-claims and SCO cannot escape the rest of the trial even if they wish to quit. If IBM manages to somehow slip up and not destroy SCO, there are two other cases (Novell and Red Hat) that SCO attacked that will administer the "coup de grâce."

So wait... wait (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801195)

Am I to understand that the "events beyond the control" of SCO that lead to the delay was that... SCO messed up their paperwork?

The fact that SCO considers inability to do their paperwork correctly an "event beyond their control" is rather telling I think.

Re:So wait... wait (2, Informative)

mck9 (713554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801363)

The events beyond SCO's control were that the parties failed to respond as requested to subpoenas that were vague, overbroad, contradictory, untimely, fatally defective in various other procedural respects, and hence not binding on anyone.

However Judge Wells said that the subpoenas would have been untimely even if they had been flawless in other respects. The supoenaed parties would not have had time to respond appropriately.

Or as Linus put it once: even in some alternate universe in which SCO were right, they'd still be wrong.

Judge Wells asked if the subpoenas were defective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801259)

She knew darn well they were defective. Intel was so exorcised at the way SCO treated them that they sent a blistering brief to the court in which they basically accused SCO of lying. What amuses me is that Judge Wells made the question sound so innocent. lol

And in other SCO news D.M. to give keynote speach (4, Funny)

AaronW (33736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801289)

Apparently Darl McBride will be giving a keynote speach at the Moscow Interop show in June. How the hell could anyone consider him for a kenote speach unless it's to throw stuff at him. Article on Yahoo at http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060215/law019.html?.v= 44 [yahoo.com].

-Aaron

Worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801381)

It's in Moscow, so he'll be throwing stuff at them.

Re:And in other SCO news D.M. to give keynote spea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801443)

But in Soviet Russia the keynote speaker throws things at YOU!

Maybe Balmer studied there?

Russia will invite anyone over (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801555)

Maybe Darl and the incoherent President of Iran can spend some quality time together comparing symptoms?

Poster missed the best part! (1)

merc (115854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801323)

Judge Wells told Darl to be quiet!! He was there, and he was talking to one of SCO's lawyers. Shortly into the second portion of the hearing, while Darl was busy Googling and talking to Mark James, Judge Wells asked him to be quiet, that she knows he wants to talk (presumedly to Mark James), but to just pay attention.

SLAPPED DOWN!

SCO teleconference Monday - call in and listen (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801346)

SCO is having a teleconference [yahoo.com] at noon Eastern time on Monday, February 27, 2006. That's when they get to explain this latest loss to analysts. This should be entertaining.

Toll Free within North America: (800) 481-7713
Toll call: (719) 457-2730
Passcode to enter call: 7134691

Prediction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801584)

When the conference call starts, they will denounce IBM's obstructionism at the Feb. 24 hearing and proclaim themselves certain victors in their case based on the dirty tactics they say IBM has had to scoop to.

SCO: the illusion of litigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14801354)

SCO is only pretending to litigate.

They've never been serious about the lawsuit, because they were expecting a settlement, which didn't happen.

The good part about the length of the case is that it gives IBM more time, and perhaps more leverage, to find evidence against Microsoft.

what's taking so long? (3, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801475)

Jesus jiminy cricket on a rocket-powered pogo stick!

Why aren't these SCO assholes and their coconspirators behind bars already?

This is ridiculous! - Since this SCO thing started, Martha Stewart traded stocks, got indicted, lied to investigators, got tried, found guilty, sentanced, finished her sentence, and returned to public life, and they can't even get this worthless SCO thing through depositions so they can decide it needs to be tossed out of court?

And they wonder why people think the court system is broken in this country.

Kent Brockman with Eye on SCO (1)

waynemcdougall (631415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801478)

Kent Brockman here. For insight into this latest development and commentary on the impact on SCO we cross to our correspondent, Nelson Muntz. Nelson?

Ha-ha!

Thanks Nelson. I, for one, welcome our humor-bearing SCO lawyers.

Justice for Abusive Lawyers (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14801599)

Lawyers shouldn't be allowed to make a career of abusing our Justice system with actions they know are meritless, but which might exploit an error by the court. After three rulings by a judge that they have done so, they should be barred from practicing law until after completing the qualifying requirements again: lawschool and licensing exam.

The people pay for the machine they're abusing, but they get paid to abuse it. I'd also like to see a state directory of lawyers, with their "batting average", their previous client list, the penalties assigned to them. Nothing fancy: a simple database search by name and address (with address history) and a simple report of details by category. If another person wants to package it fancy, and offer search personnel, that's a good way to recover some revenue, as a fee for bulk usage or resale. But consumers should be able to get the data collected by our government.
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