I think we may discern some panic, or at least a shift in strategy, by the fact that SCO has added three new lawyers to the team, and they are not from the firm of Boies, Schiller. Here is the court application.
The three new attorneys are with Andrews, Kurth, a Texas firm, but they are from its Washington, DC office. The three list on their applications the courts they've appeared before, and you find appeals courts, and tax and antitrust law represented in the list, but they are IP lawyers, specializing in patent law. Their names are Frederick S. Frei, John K. Harrop, and Aldo Noto.
Here is what this firm does. Lots of talk about mergers, corporate securities transactions, asset securitization, financial transactions. But when you visit their history of the firm page you find out they began as a Houston, Texas firm just over 100 years ago and now they are an international firm with 400 lawyers and 8 offices, and that in 2003, they added a group of technology lawyers when the firm "acquired a large group of technology lawyers from the failed Brobeck’s Austin office. We also added a large group from Arter & Hadden in Dallas and a key IP group in Washington, DC from Dorsey & Whitney."
The three just added to the SCO team joined this firm during one of the acquisitions and are patent specialists:
"Andrews Kurth's new D.C. Patent Group includes Aldo Noto, Frederick Frei, and John Harrop, joining the firm as partners, and associates Sean Wooden, Kelly Lee and patent agent Dr. Michael Ye. The new group focuses on patent procurement, acquisition, and exploitation including licensing and other technology transactions and infringement litigation before Federal Courts and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Their practice includes high tech work in the areas of computer hardware and software, semiconductors, electrical devices, multimedia, defense, communications, bioinformatics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and medical devices.
"'Adding a patent group in our Washington, D.C. office was a strategic priority to round-out our national technology practice group,' says Howard Ayers managing partner of the firm. The acquisition brings the number of Andrews Kurth attorneys to over 400."
So maybe they've noticed that it might come in handy to have some tech lawyers who might know what binutils is, or more accurately, what it isn't? Hint: It isn't in the Linux kernel.
Here is how the firm thinks, from its IP practice page:
"Competitive advantage from intellectual assets
"Intellectual property is one of the most valuable assets any company has. When fully leveraged it can be a major source of profitability; when underused and improperly protected, it becomes a liability. Andrews Kurth IP lawyers know patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright law, and we also know the business sense behind it. We give our clients full-service IP counsel, across a wide range of technologies and industries, in every part of the world, without getting lost in the detail. Our strength is straight talk and clear advice that turns a client’s intellectual property into a measurable competitive advantage."
Oh, brother, please don't let them find any patents they can help SCO "fully leverage" to become "a major source of profitability". Thank you, Novell, for thinking ahead and not putting all of UNIX's eggs in one basket. Actually, this is most likely about the patent counterclaims.