Yesterday, UnixWare/OpenServer vendor Xinuos filed a lawsuit in the US Virgin Islands, alleging theft of intellectual property and monopolistic market collusion against joint defendants IBM and Red Hat.
If this sounds like a familiar, well-worn tale, it should. Xinuos is the company which purchased the remnants of the SCO Group in 2011. The SCO Group, in turn, is a company most famous not for its actual products but for its litigation against IBM and Linux. That litigation began in 2003—partially funded by a very different Microsoft, only five years after the leak of the Halloween documents in which Microsoft acknowledged the “long-term viability” of open source software and discussed strategies to choke it out of the market.
The substance of the original lawsuit is SCO’s claim that IBM pulled proprietary code out of SCO Unix and inserted it into the Linux kernel. The subsequent 18 years have not been kind to SCO, which first filed for bankruptcy in 2007, then eventually sold off its intellectual property (but not its litigation rights) to Xinuos, then named UnXis, in 2011.