This is an archived article that was published on in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The SCO Group's software business is up for sale, but that might not mean an end to its controversial lawsuits against IBM Corp. and Novell Inc.

Judge Kevin Gross in Delaware has approved procedures for selling off the Lindon company's Unix business before the end of this year.

Several previous attempts to sell the business out of bankruptcy court have failed. This time a trustee, who is running the company, has engaged an investment bank to handle the process.

Ocean Park Advisors of Los Angeles is preparing materials for the sale and will accept bids until an Oct. 5 deadline, according to court records.

What is up for sale is the Unix software that operates companies' computer systems. Known for its reliability, the system has been used by McDonald's, Kmart, China's postal service, the German train system and the largest bank in Russia.

Though SCO's Unix business has been declining for 10 years or so, the company is more or less still breaking even now, with yearly revenues ranging from about $4.5 million to about $5.5 million, court records show in the bankruptcy case filed in 2007 after the company lost a critical court ruling. SCO previously proposed selling the business for $5.25 million.

Under plans for previous sale attempts, the Unix business was to be sold off while the SCO Group would continue as an entity whose sole business would be to pursue the lawsuits against IBM and Novell. Documents this time do not detail plans for SCO after the sale, but it recently participated in a conference in federal court aimed at pushing the IBM case forward and SCO is appealing a verdict against it in the Novell lawsuit.

SCO sued IBM in 2002 alleging IBM had used code from Unix as the basis to make the Linux operating system into a formidable competitor. It sued Novell the next year after Novell claimed it and not SCO owned the copyrights to Unix.

But in March a jury found that Novell did not sell the Unix copyrights in a 1995 sale. SCO is appealing that and other matters to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The IBM case has been stalled by the bankruptcy and the Novell case but SCO recently moved to reopen it and move toward a trial.

Sale of SCO Group's Unix business

Timeline approved by bankruptcy court:

Oct. 5 • Bids due

Oct. 25 • Auction to be held

Nov. 8 • Court hearing to approve sale

Nov. 30 • Closing on or before this date