IBM has been ordered to hand over source code of its AIX and Dynix operating systems to SCO, in the latest installment of the long-running Linux intellectual property rights legal case between the pair.
A federal court in Utah has ordered that IBM must supply the code by 11 February after a successful application from SCO, which wants to examine it to see if any of its code was used in IBM products.
The legal feud started in spring 2003 when SCO claimed its code had been used to develop various commercial Linux products, and IBM was the subject of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit.
Other firms supplying Linux products are also being threatened by SCO. SCO claims parts of its Unix System V operating system have been used by other companies to develop Linux and other types of software products.
IBM denies any infringement to SCO’s intellectual property, and the outcome of the case will have a huge impact on the Linux open-source market.
Many users of Linux products are now seeking indemnity from their suppliers against prosecution from SCO.
The full trial is not expected to begin until the end of the year.