SCO Group Asks to Depose IBM CEO

SCO Group Asks to Depose IBM CEO

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- SCO Group has asked to amend for the third time its $5 billion lawsuit claiming IBM copied Unix code into the freely distributed Linux operating system.

In addition to asking to broaden the suit, the Lindon, Utah, company asked U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball on Thursday to allow it to depose IBM Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano.

Kimball took the requests under advisement.

SCO attorney Sean Eskovitz argued that Palmisano, then a vice president, spearheaded IBM's transition from Unix to Linux.

Eskovitz said that IBM had asked to depose SCO CEO Darl McBride, "and we intend to produce him. ... I see no reason why IBM's CEO should be treated differently."

IBM attorney David Marriott said there were other top-level IBM executives that SCO could and should depose first.

"The SCO view of the world is that any CEO has complete knowledge of everything that goes on under him," Marriott said. "Mr. McBride is CEO of a company with a little over 100 employees. Mr. Palmisano is CEO of a company with over 300,000 employees."

SCO said it was seeking to broaden its complaint because of documents it has uncovered through discovery during the past six to eight months.

It involves a claim of misappropriation of source code into a product developed by IBM and pertains to an agreement between IBM and SCO's predecessor, Santa Cruz Operation.

Marriott said that the amendment deadline has passed and that SCO knew about the possible claims "for many years and has done nothing about it."

He said that three of the six documents Normand referred to were provided to SCO before the deadline and that the long-ago agreement between Santa Cruz Operation and IBM calls for such a claim to be heard in a New York court.

At issue is the long-defunct Project Monterey, an effort by IBM and others to create a single, Unix-like operating system. While the effort failed, IBM incorporated SVR4 Unix code into its AIX on Power operating system. It said it did so under the project's umbrella.

Eskovitz argued the code usage was outside agreed boundaries, and that IBM knew this "but proceeded anyway."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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