Troll trips up: SCO told to pay Novell $2.5 million

Bankrupt SCO Group Inc., much loathed for its (sometimes successful) efforts to extract copyright royalties from users of the open-source Linux system, has suffered another humiliating defeat in a Utah federal courtroom. The court proceedings determined, among other things, that SCO didn’t in fact own the copyrights it claimed to own, and had breached its fiduciary duty under an earlier agreement with Novell. (Ars Technica, Information Week, GrokLaw). At the height of SCO’s notoriety, the high-profile law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner was pursuing its anti-Linux claims on contingency. Earlier here, here, and here. [Update Sept. 18, 2009: in dramatic reversal, 10th Circuit, McConnell writing, reinstates SCO’s suit; Boies firm still representing SCO. See WSJ Law Blog, 8/25/09]

In other news, progress is being made on a scheme of “defense patent aggregation”; an outfit called the RPX Corp., with subscriptions from large technology-using companies, aims to buy up (presumably lower-value) patents to keep them out of the hands of trolls (WSJ Law Blog).

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