Elusive IP, Watch Out!

By Bill Claybrook

July 28, 2003

The SCO vs. IBM lawsuit [ http://aberdeen.com/ab_abstracts/2003/03/03030019.htm ] seems to take a different path every day. Microsoft recently hinted that some of its IP has possibly made its way into Linux. Whether this means source code or "look and feel of Windows" is not clear. I would expect that just about every operating system being used today has "IP," or code, that was directly copied from another operating system, or code that was copied and then modified, or code that was "remembered" by a developer and then used in another operating system.

I would not be surprised to find that Microsoft Windows has some or all of the above from developers who previously worked at Digital and other companies and later went to work at Microsoft. Second-hand information says that BSD 4.1, 4.2 code has made its way into Unix System V [ http://aberdeen.com/ab_abstracts/2003/06/06030008.htm ] simply because developers who were transitioning from BSD to Unix System V wanted it in Unix System V to make their transition easier. The lawsuit between SCO and IBM will likely resolve some of these issues. In the meantime, expect to see companies either sued or threatened [ http://aberdeen.com/ab_company/hottopics/askanalyst/claybrook061603.htm ] by SCO to start filing their own lawsuits against SCO for trying to extort license fees [ http://aberdeen.com/ab_abstracts/2003/06/06030020.htm ] via non-substantiated charges.

2:03 ET

Copyright 2003