Here is HP's explanation for sponsoring the SCO city-to-city tour, which I reproduce in full:
"External Statement Concerning HP's Sponsorship of the SCO City to City Tour
"In light of statements by SCO concerning potential intellectual property problems in the current Linux software development model, HP has been asked whether our sponsorship of the SCO City-to-City tour represents an endorsement of SCO's position.
"HP's adaptive enterprise computing strategy is based upon providing customers with choice and flexibility to enable them to adapt to business change. HP's commitment to customers includes ensuring HP has the best platforms, solutions and partnerships for different operating system environments, with strategic focus on Windows®, HP-UX and Linux. This commitment also extends to the large installed base of HP customers who have deployed solutions based on SCO UnixWare®. Participation with SCO allows HP to help these customers adapt and grow with products and solutions based on this operating system.
"HP has a broad range of industry partners and sponsors many events all over the world. Participation in partner events does not imply endorsement or agreement with the business strategies of all of these partners; in fact, HP specifically does not comment on partner strategies, but provides the level of participation and commitment consistent with supporting HP's customers.
"HP's own commitment to Linux and the Open Source community has been demonstrated continuously over the past decade. At the same time, HP is the market leader in servers running Microsoft® Windows® and has a large number of customers deploying applications using the HP-UX operating system. HP has taken a leadership position in driving Linux for the enterprise, and recently assumed the risk of offering qualifying customers indemnity against potential SCO lawsuits relating to alleged copyright infringements within Linux. This is another move driven by HP's commitment to put the needs of its customers first.
"As the leader in industry-standard computing, HP supports its customers' choices in terms of the operating system they choose to use."