SCO Group Inc’s attempts to get more time from the court hearing its breach-of-contract lawsuit against IBM Corp in order to question Intel Corp and Oracle Corp appear to have back-fired, with Intel accusing the Unix vendor of making false statements to the court.
Lindon, Utah-based SCO filed a motion with the US District Court on January 27, the day of the fact-discovery deadline in the long-running court case, asking for more time to question Intel, Oracle, and The Open Group Inc.
The company explained that it had filed subpoenas on each company to appear for deposition on that day but the corporations did not appear for their depositions and have not filed motions to quash or motions for protective order.
That explanation has angered Intel, however, which has filed a response with the court maintaining that SCO’s motion misrepresents the facts underlying its attempts to take discovery from Intel and contains unfair and untrue accusations.
While Intel has admitted that it failed to appear on January 27 for deposition, it explained that is because it was only properly served with the subpoena at 3.26pm the previous day.
Intel said it had previously been faxed a deposition notice on January 12 but had informed SCO that the notice was defective because service of such a notice by fax is improper, the notice demanded that Intel’s witnesses travel over 2,000 miles to New York for deposition, and the fax was not actually accompanied by a subpoena.
Although a subpoena was sent by SCO on January 25 demanding that Intel witnesses appear in Oakland, California, it lacked a deposition notice or set of deposition topics, according to Intel. The proper paperwork appeared at 3.26pm on January 26.
In the meantime, Intel had determined that it would need to prepare at least three different employees for the six deposition topics including Intel’s relationship with SCO, communications between Intel and IBM, and issues related to Unix programming interfaces, and would take several weeks to locate the relevant documents.
Intel takes discovery obligations seriously. SCO’s attempt to blame Intel for creating SCO’s need for more time simply ignores the facts, it concluded.
SCO’s attempt to take deposition from Oracle also appears to have upset the database and application software giant, which has filed a motion to quash the subpoena or move for a protective order to prohibit SCO’s sought-after discovery, calling SCO’s discovery request slapdash.
SCO served Oracle with a subpoena on January 10 to depose the company’s representatives on a number of areas including communications between Oracle and IBM, Oracle’s business and contractual relationships with SCO, and all versions of all Oracle products since 1995 certified to work with any Unix operating system.
Oracle stated that it contacted SCO to point out that the subpoena and deposition notice were defective because witness fees were not tendered, the subpoena was issued out of the District of California which does not exist, and the deposition notice and subpoena called for the deposition to take place in New York and California respectively.
SCO should not be permitted to impose such slapdash discovery requests on nonparties at the very end of discovery, after it has had years to obtain the information in a more orderly fashion, Oracle told the court.
SCO originally sued IBM in March 2003. The deadline for other discovery issues is scheduled for March 17, 2006. That will be followed by a series of expert reports, and dispositive motions, before a special attorney conference and settlement conference on January 30, 2007. The five-week jury trial is scheduled to begin on February 26, 2007.