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Zombie SCO rises from the grave again

Bankruptcy trustee files appeal in epic 'Who owns Linux' case against IBM

The Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO) just doesn't know when it's dead: the bankruptcy trustee of the company that thinks it owns Linux is having another try at milking IBM for money.

Back in February it looked like this long-running case, which hinges on whether IBM lifted some SCO code and popped it into its own operating systems, might be done and dusted.

But SCO's bankruptcy trustee on Monday filed an appeal (PDF) in which the zombie company says it intends to appeal “the Judgment entered in this action on March 1, 2016.”

That judgement (PDF) saw Judge David Nuffer of the US District court rule against SCO's claims IBM illegally interfered with its business. Judge Nuffer also shot down an argument SCO advanced regarding contractual matters.

SCO's grounds for appeal haven't been filed at the time of writing, so we don't know just how it proposes to keep the case alive. The Register's legal prowess is clearly waning after we predicted the case was almost certainly over, but we're advised SCO will likely try to query Judge Nuffer's legal logic in an appeal.

SCO has been bankrupt for some time and its only asset is the claims it has against IBM. The company's still capable of paying its lawyers, however, which suggests the backing of someone who feels there's a payday out there one day. IBM's never taken a backwards step over the many years the case has rumbled along. The Register imagines it will keep telling its lawyers to do whatever it takes for as long as SCO keeps shuffling forwards. Which we can be sure all the lawyers involved will appreciate as they shuffle towards BMW dealerships. ®

Update: A reader with more legal smarts points out that this appeal is probably procedural: filing it costs very little, but there's no guarantee an actual appeal will follow. SCO's bankruptcy trustee probably filed it because the potential for a payout is SCO's only asset. Filing an appeal therefore keeps the possibility of an appeal alive. Whether SCO or its trustees ever actually file the arguments needed to make an appeal possible is unknown.

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