In addition to answering SCO-Caldera's allegations, IBM asserts seven affirmative defenses including the defense that Caldera's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and an attack on the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to hear this case stating: Caldera's claims are improperly venued in this district.
This affirmative defense and the other affirmative defenses set the groundwork for a motion to dismiss the Caldera v IBM Complaint.
After asserting its affirmative defenses, IBM requests dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice, and award of attorney fees, expenses, and costs for defending the lawsuit.
Originally, IBM was required by the applicable court rules to have filed its response to the Caldera v IBM Complaint on or before 26 March 2003. However, IBM was granted an extension of time until yesterday to file its response, which it now has done.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (F.R.C.P.) that govern the Caldera v IBM court proceedings, an answer means a document (pleading) in which a defendant (IBM here) must either admit or deny each and every fact-based allegation stated in the complaint. Additionally, if a defendant fails to specifically deny an allegation, the court may deem the allegation as admitted. That helps to keep wrong-doing parties from wiggling out of telling the truth.
IBM does lots of wiggling in its Answer to SCO-Caldera's Complaint. It will be interesting to see if SCO's lawyers have the skills to convince the Court to not let IBM get away with all that wiggling. However, considering how poorly SCO's lawyers drafted the Caldera v IBM Complaint, it is doubtful they have the skills.
In criminal proceedings a defendant cannot be forced to give evidence against himself or herself. Not so in civil proceedings. In a civil lawsuit such as the Caldera v IBM case, a defendant (IBM here) is required to provide the plaintiff (SCO-Caldera here) with the very information the plaintiff needs to prove its case.
That can cut both ways, however. The plaintiff also can be forced to provide the defendant with information that might help the defendant to beat the rap. Moreover, the plaintiff can be forced to provide the defendant with information that could help the defendant to file a counterclaim against the plaintiff and win the counterclaim.
In a preamble to its Answer, IBM states:
IBM has not misappropriated any trade secrets; it has not engaged in unfair competition; it has not interfered with Caldera's contracts; and it has not breached contractual obligations to Caldera. In any event, IBM has the irrevocable, fully paid-up, and perpetual right to use the "proprietary software" that it is alleged to have misappropriated or misused.
Next, and perhaps the real key to how IBM will proceed in this lawsuit, IBM asserts seven affirmative defenses:
1) Caldera's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
2) Caldera's claims are barred because IBM has not engaged in any unlawful or unfair business practices, and IBM's conduct was privileged, performed in the exercise of an absolute right, proper and/or justified.
3) Caldera lacks standing to pursue claims against IBM relating to Project Monterey.
4) Caldera's claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable statutes of limitations.
5) Caldera's claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the economic-loss doctrine or the independent-duty doctrine.
6) Caldera's claims are barred by the doctrines of laches, delay, waiver, and estoppel.
7) Caldera's claims are improperly venued in this district.
More to come. Stay tuned
Please see the first two parts of our series about SCO-Caldera's IP claims plus its intentions to enforce and license its intellectual property rights.
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