SCO claims IBM tampered with crucial trial evidence

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SCO claims IBM tampered with crucial trial evidence

IBM directed programmers to delete source code that could be used as evidence against the company, SCO claims in a new court filing.

IBM directed programmers to delete from their computers source code that could be used as evidence against the company in its ongoing legal battle with the SCO Group, SCO claims in a new court filing.

According to SCO, IBM "directed dozens of its Linux developers" to delete code in what SCO calls an egregious act of "spoliation of evidence." SCO claims that an IBM developer "has admitted to destroying Dynix source code and tests."

Dynix, along with AIX, are IBM versions of Unix that SCO claims contain elements that violate SCO patents. SCO's initial lawsuit against IBM, filed in 2003, claims IBM illegally distributed some of that technology to the Linux open source community. SCO has also sued Linux users DaimlerChrysler and Autozone, and has threatened to sue others.

SCO's latest charges are contained in a motion that the company quietly filed on Tuesday in the US District Court for Utah. In the motion, SCO asks the court to overturn a decision last month by Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells to dismiss about two-thirds of SCO's claims. Wells said the claims were too vague to hold up in court.

In its latest filing, SCO says that was unavoidable given IBM's alleged destruction of evidence. "Clearly, any effort to link up methods and concepts with specific source code from Dynix or AIX would have been assisted by the information that was intentionally discarded by IBM after the filing of the suit," SCO charges. The new filing is now before Judge Dale Kimball, who is overseeing the case. Officials from SCO and IBM were not immediately available for comment.

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