The SCO Group will next week hand over further evidence to IBM in the next stage of its $3bn Linux legal battle.
SCO has confirmed that its lawyers will provide IBM with the additional evidence it has requested on 12 January, in keeping with the deadline set by a judge.
This will be followed by a hearing in Salt Lake City on 23 January, when the judge is expected to ask IBM whether it has received everything needed.
Blake Stowell, SCO's director of public relations, told vnunet.com: "SCO will then have the opportunity to request of the judge that she compel IBM [to] provide us with the evidence that SCO has requested but not yet received from IBM."
Stowell would not say what evidence it is awaiting.
SCO launched its legal action against IBM last March for allegedly violating its Unix licence, claiming that Big Blue had placed SCO-owned code into Linux.
IBM later issued a countersuit claiming that SCO had violated the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) as well as some of its patents.
But Stowell insisted that SCO had not violated the GPL. "SCO never signed over the copyrights," he said.
"To do so, the company would have to knowingly sign over, in a legal document, the copyrights which the company inherited when it purchased the source code from Novell.
"The company has never done this and never intends to. You cannot accidentally give up your copyrights."
Stowell referred to the GPL's 'Section 0' which states: 'This licence applies to any program or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this [GPL].'
SCO has never placed any such notice indicating that any SCO program or other work may be distributed, he added.
But Gary Barnett, principal analyst at Ovum, said: "SCO is making a very, very sophisticated argument that is open to very wide interpretation."
Barnett questioned whether SCO could rely on a judge accepting inadvertent distribution of offending code while at the same time suing people for inadvertently using it.
"IBM is likely to point out that SCO distributed Linux for some time after it brought the case," he explained.
IBM did not respond to requests for comment by the time of going to press.
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