Novell has filed a motion in SCO's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in Delaware asking for the automatic stay on litigation to be lifted so that the original SCO versus Novell lawsuit can go ahead as scheduled in Utah and it can claim the money SCO owes it.
SCO filed for Chapter 11 protection after a Utah court handed down several partial summary judgements in SCO versus Novell, including one that found that SCO did not own the Unix copyrights over which it sued Novell. The court also found that SCO had converted certain royalties – up to $25-million worth – from Unix licences to itself rather than to Novell.
Now, it seems, Novell wants its money or, as Groklaw says on its website: "If the New York Daily News was coming up with a headline for this filing, it'd probably be something like this: Novell to SCO: Drop Dead. First Pay Up."
According to The Inquirer, Novell says the automatic bankruptcy stay on the SCO versus Novell litigation should be lifted for three reasons:
* The SCO versus Novell case is at an advanced stage in a complex lawsuit. The Utah court is "fully versed" and ready to go to trial. SCO chose Utah as the venue for that case anyway. SCO already has lawyers there ready for trial, and the trial is expected to last for only five days. Since the case is already four years old, it doesn't make sense to start all over. The issues at trial have to be decided for SCO's bankruptcy to proceed in any event, and the court in Utah is the least expensive place to decide them.
* For reasons of judicial economy. The Utah court's August 10 partial summary judgment rulings narrowed the issues in SCO versus Novell considerably and won't be reversed by the same court that made them, so the trial will just decide how much SCO owes Novell and whether or not SCO had the right to sell SCOsource licences without asking Novell first.
* It's in the bankruptcy court's interest to have ascertained how much of the money SCO has on hand really belongs to it and not to Novell. Furthermore, the Utah court's August 10 rulings make SCO's "business model questionable." The only profits SCO ever made came from selling its SCOsource licences. Without that future revenue source, it's doubtful that SCO can reorganise successfully. Letting the SCO versus Novell trial proceed in Utah will establish "precisely how much of SCO's past income is attributable to its wrongful use of the SVRX copyrights."