Difference between IBM and SCO

The dispute between IBM and SCO began in March 2003, when SCO Group, a Utah-based firm, filed a lawsuit against IBM, claiming that IBM had broken the license agreement for AIX (IBM's in-house version of Unix) that it had signed with AT&T and that SCO now controlled.

By offering AIX to other companies, SCO Group said IBM was in breach of contract. More than a billion dollars were sought in damages for the complaint, which also alleged illegal competition and a violation of the contract. Just two months after filing suit, SCO claimed to have found more UNIX code in Linux. The firm then started mailing letters to prominent Linux users, such as Fortune 1000 and Fortune Global 500 corporations, demanding a licensing fee for every CPU in every product running Linux at each organization.

The SCO lawsuit brought against IBM was dismissed in 2016 with prejudice. There have been several disputes and litigation over who actually owns the UNIX operating system during the past decade.

What is IBM?

The "International Business Machines" (IBM) Corporation is a global leader in business consultancy and information technology. Armonk, New York is home to its headquarters. In its early days, IBM was made up of many separate companies that united to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (now simply known as IBM) (CTR). IBM is the result of its gradual evolution throughout time.

IBM, formerly the dominant supplier of computer hardware, has evolved into one of the world's top service providers throughout the course of its existence. By 2001, the company had properly structured its software division, replete with sales and profit targets and an all-encompassing product category and set of approaches.

From 2012 to 2014, IBM improved its knowledge and solutions in the field of mobile computing by increasing the use of analytical tools, Big Data, and software security. The company grew and diversified during the 1990s, eventually becoming a globally active powerhouse. This shift took place over the course of a decade.

What is SCO?

The SCO Group, or SCO, is a pioneer in the creation of innovative UNIX software. Its administrative hub may be found at Lindon, Utah. Among the many well-known brands in the computer industry with whom SCO Group does business are Intel, Dell, HP, Progress Software, and Computer Associates.

In 2002, what is now known as the SCO Group was formed when Santa Cruz Operation, a distributor of UNIX systems for Intel microprocessors, and Caldera, a commercial Linux reseller, joined to form a new company. A prolonged legal battle between SCO and IBM has been going on since 2003.

This whole mess began in 2003 when SCO sued IBM for $1 billion. According to the complaint, IBM tampered with Linux's open-source code by inserting parts of its proprietary Unix variant, AIX. SCO asked the court to throw out the case. SCO said that it had found further code within Linux, in addition to the code that IBM had allegedly placed. Over the past decade, the legal battle has become a morass of counterclaims and counter lawsuits.

Differences − IBM and SCO

The following table highlights how IBM is different from SCO −

Characteristics IBM SCO


IBM is a global company that focuses on business consulting and information technology. Armonk, New York is home to its headquarters.

The Lindon, Utah-based SCO is not only the creator of UNIX but also a leading provider of cutting-edge UNIX software and services.


IBM has several different divisions that provide various services, such as networking, cloud computing, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things, data and analytics, and R&D.

In addition to standard Web services, SCO may also provide in-depth server-based solutions.


IBM is not only one of the largest service providers in the world but also one of the most valuable brands.

For a long time, SCO Group was a major force in the UNIX and Linux markets.


IBM, one of the world's major service providers, and SCO Group, the proprietors of the UNIX operating system, form two opposing camps. SCO Group sued IBM for alleged breaches of confidentiality and mishandling of confidential information. In a $1 billion lawsuit, SCO accuses IBM of violating its UNIX contract by moving code to Linux and running portions of the company's copyrighted code. SCO says IBM has breached its UNIX contract by plagiarizing code for Linux.

SCO and IBM have been embroiled in an intellectual property lawsuit for almost a decade. It would appear that this has caused SCO to lose ground in the market.

Updated on: 15-Dec-2022


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