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SCO's 10K & a SCOsource TM Application
Friday, February 03 2006 @ 03:31 PM EST

SCO has just applied to register the word mark SCOSOURCE in the category of Goods and Services, "Licensing services, namely, the services of licensing intellectual property." They claim first use was January of 2003 but failed to list a particular date. Considering the purpose of a trademark, I find this effort comical, unless they want it just to sue someone who is using it in a way they don't like. Would anyone else wish to use that mark for "licensing intellectual property"?

I can still name my new toilet bowl cleaner SCOsource, but in the category of licensing IP, SCO has a lock, if this is accepted for registration, which I'm sure it will be.

You'll have to go to www.uspto.gov, click on Tradmarks, Search, Basic form, and use keyword SCOSOURCE if you wish to see it, because the USPTO's website software is demented and won't let you reliably point to search results directly. It also times out if you take too long reading. I am sure that helps the whole patent and trademark legal mess. Not. Here's the page, if it still works.

The purpose of a trademark, after all, is to make sure that your products are clearly from you and no one else. You can read about Trademarks if you go to our Legal Links page and look for the link. You want to know that if you buy a Coke, It's the Real Thing. But you don't actually need to register a trademark to have one or to sue over one. It's useful to establish that you have it and when you legally got it, but registration is not required. Using a mark in business and building up a reputation is also a way to get a trademark, and I believe their SCOsource reputation is carved in stone for all the ages, and it is pointedly all about SCO.

That's the mark they really should apply for: IT'S ALL ABOUT SCO.

Is there anyone who would want its products to bear a SCOsource mark? Only if they hate their own product and want it to die on the vine, I think. The mark eternally stands for SCO's attempt to say stick 'em up to Linux users and vendors, and, as they point out themselves in their most recent 10K, which is gloomily written in such a way it seems they are trying to buttress their damages claims regarding Novell, SCOsource hasn't been a success to date. That's putting it mildly.

I know. It must mean SCO has visions of future glory.

By the way, the fantastical prices SCO invented to make them "whole" from the allegedly infringing code in Linux can be viewed in the trademark application, number 78794781 if you click on TDR, and then "Specimen".

We may not agree with SCO about the reason SCOsource is deathly ill -- they think it's because Novell and others have said things that "confuse" people about SCO's rights, and I think it's because they haven't established that there is, in reality, any infringing UNIX code in Linux. Well, that and the fact that folks tend not to trust SCO now, from my observation. Who wants to do business with a company which sues its own customers, like Daimler Chrysler, for heaven's sake, who hadn't used UNIX is almost a decade?

When SCO did that, I think a lot of people felt they'd sue anyone under any pretext, so long as there were deep pockets in the picture or some FUD to be had. After all, you could be next, no, if you end up on their radar? DaimlerChrysler had been a UNIX licensee in the distant past, a customer of SCO's alleged predecessors-in-interest, and once SCO started suing customers like that, they pretty much slammed the door on new business, and they had to know it. No one wants to be sued. Most normal people don't even like to sue others, let alone be sued themselves. It's worth crossing the street to avoid litigation, and that is precisely what the world pretty much did en masse, cross the street to get away from SCO. Linux didn't do that to SCO, and neither did Novell or the Linux community or anybody but SCO. They did it to themselves. They deliberately chose to make their name mud in the marketplace, in my opinion, and now they are reaping what they deliberately sowed.

Here's how the 10K tries to point the finger at Novell:

We believe and allege that our decrease in SCOsource revenue for the years ended October 31, 2005 and 2004 was in part attributable to Novellís claim of UNIX copyright ownership, which may have caused potential customers to delay or forego licensing until an outcome in this legal matter has been reached....

Believe and allege, eh? That's not SEC language, to my mind. Sounds like they are already writing something up for the court. SCO will have to bite the bullet, look in the mirror and accept a simple truth, that most people don't like what SCO is doing. As a result, their business is tanking at the moment, and that tanking is what SCO tells us about in their 10K. It isn't just SCOsource that is heading downward like a dying bird, however. It's pretty much everything, including the number of SCO employees. So much suffering from this litigation, so many jobs lost. As their 10K says, "Revenue from our UNIX business decreased by $6,142,000, or 15%, for the year ended October 31, 2005 compared to the year ended October 31, 2004 and decreased by $11,428,000, or 21%, for the year ended October 31, 2004 compared to the year ended October 31, 2003." Novell didn't do that to them. They say Linux did, by competing in the marketplace.

Well, no one sues you if you use Linux.

Duh.

Might that be the simple explanation?


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