by CIO Staff

IBM Subpoenas Microsoft, Sun, HP

Feb 23, 20062 mins

The long-running legal battle between The SCO Group Inc. and IBM Corp. over source code ownership could uncover some interesting relationships, after IBM requested this week that Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and BayStar Capital turn over documents relating to their communications with SCO.

IBM filed the orders for documents and depositions on Tuesday. The orders seek communications between the companies and SCO, documents concerning efforts to maintain the secrecy of the Unix source code and information related to royalties paid for Unix.

The dispute between IBM and SCO dates back to 2003, when SCO charged IBM with offering open source software based on source code SCO claimed to own.

IBM’s filings this week, however, could reveal interesting information relating to other SCO relationships, particularly with Microsoft. Just after SCO filed its lawsuit against IBM, Microsoft signed a Unix licensing agreement with SCO.

BayStar, a venture capital firm that invested in SCO, said Microsoft had referred it to SCO.

HP, Microsoft, Sun and BayStar have all been asked to hand over the documents by March 7. The companies have each been given mid-March dates to appear for depositions as well.

For related CIO coverage, read Free Code for Sale: The New Business of Open Source, It’s Raining Code! (Hallelujah?) and Open Source Moves Up.

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-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service