Decatur Jones' Cornett Changes His Mind: SCO's Chances With a Jury "Less Favorable" in IBM Case

Monday, May 10 2004 @ 05:12 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

Decatur Jones' Dion Cornett, who originally wrote that he thought SCO had a good chance of a partial judgment in the SCO v. IBM lawsuit, if the trial went to a jury, has now altered his view and rates SCO's chances with a jury less favorably. He changed his mind based on reading SCO's claim, in its Answer to IBM's 2nd Amended Counterclaims, that it did not know about IBM's work with Linux during Project Monterey, a claim which Groklaw debunked last week. Cornett writes, in the May 10th "Open Source Wall Street," that he believes SCO's odds with a jury have worsened, because of losing credibility from making such a claim, and because it simplifies IBM's story to the jury:

"SCOX jury dynamics less favorable

In a court filing early last week, SCOX claimed that it did not know that IBM was involved in Linux during work on Project Monterey, despite issuing several joint Linux press releases. Beyond the loss of credibility, we believe this set of facts may provide IBM with ammunition should the SCO v IBM lawsuit reach a jury. As early as our initiating coverage report, we argued that SCOX may win a partial judgment during the jury phase given the unpredictability of our jury system and the relative simplicity of SCOX’s claims (big company takes little local company’s purchased IP, lines of code are the same...). By contrast, IBM’s defense requires complex explanations of the UNIX family tree, derivative works, and esoteric aspects of contract law. However, SCOX’s apparent inconsistency may allow IBM to argue that SCOX was simply out-competed by companies, such as RHAT and SuSE, that it once did press releases with and now in bitterness is looking for deep pockets to sue."

In SCO's Answer to IBM's 2nd Amended Counterclaims, it said:

"42. Admits the allegations of Paragraph 42, but alleges that SCO was unaware of IBM's Linux-related investment prior to its formal announcements thereof, and further alleges that IBM secretly and improperly failed to disclose to SCO such Linux-related investments and its intentions with respect to Linux before and during Project Monterey."