According to this article, dated August 28, 2002, Darl's didn't first think about legally pressing their IP claims long after they had their stock plan in place. It was virtually his first task on becoming CEO:
"The then-Caldera legal team was appointed the task of coming up with a review of the history of Caldera's intellectual properties and their status. The review turned up a stack of license agreements that had gone uncollected for years. To date (remember, McBride has been on board as CEO for only a few weeks), Caldera has already come to agreements with holders of these old licenses that will generate $600,000 in recurring revenue.
"The intellectual property fishing expedition has provided The SCO Group with the legal due diligence to now lay claim to UNIX itself. According to Opinder Bawa, new Senior VP of Technology, 'we own the source to UNIX; it's that simple. If we own the source, we are entitled to collect the agreed license fees.'"
It now appears, then that Bawa was not an uninvolved party who left in disgust. Rather, he appears to have been in support of the steps SCO was then taking. The timing issue is significant, namely that they already had approached and gotten monies from companies to the tune of $600,000. How does this match the millions for the two MS and Sun licenses? I don't know, but I hope someone finds out during the trial. The article also says that back then, McBride understood that Linux is not UNIX:
"To my fellow folk in the Linux community, you need not fear. I specifically asked if, in making that broad a statement about UNIX, The SCO Group was making any legal claim to Linux. According to McBride, 'obviously Linux owes its heritage to UNIX, but not its code. We would not, nor will not, make such a claim.'"
Of course, his word meant nothing, but his claim against Linux, judging by the SCOForum code fiasco, seems to be just as valueless as his promises turned out to be.
If you are interested in SCO's inhouse attorney, Ryan E. Tibbits, here's an article he wrote. He was involved, it turns out, in the Caldera, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. case. He says winning a legal fight depends on careful review of documents. Hmm. I hope he's absolutely correct.