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Novell Takes On SCO

Software vendor disputes SCO claim to owning operating systems derived from Unix code
Novell last week publicly challenged SCO Group's claim that it owns a piece of operating systems derived from Unix source code. Novell, which in 1995 sold certain rights to Unix to SCO Group's predecessor, asserts that SCO has no right to claim ownership of Unix code that AT&T, the original licensor of Unix, licensed to Sequent, the creator of the Dynix Unix derivative. IBM now owns Sequent.

SCO Group last year moved to terminate IBM's right to sell the Unix-based AIX and Dynix operating systems, citing the improper transfer of Unix source code and development methods into Linux. The legal dispute between SCO and IBM over Linux isn't scheduled to reach trial for a year. By then, the stakes and the issues raised could look very different than they do today. SCO Group has de-emphasized its claims that IBM misappropriated SCO-owned trade secrets. At the same time, SCO has petitioned a Utah court to increase copyright-infringement damages it sought from IBM from $3 billion to $5 billion.

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