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Novell Owns Copyrights|to Unix, Utah Jury Finds

(CN) - A Utah federal jury found that Novell -- not SCO Group -- owns the copyrights to Unix and UnixWare. The verdict was the latest chapter in a complicated legal battle that began when SCO launched a campaign to get corporate Linux users to pay license fees.

Novell sold the Unix operating system to Santa Cruz Operation in 1995 for $149 million, but it argued that it kept the copyrights. Santa Cruz Operation sold the technology in 2001 to Caldera Systems, which later became SCO Group.

The jury found that copyrights to the popular operating system remain with Novell.

Novell released a statement saying the company remains committed to promoting Linux, including defending Linux on the intellectual property front.

"This decision is good news for Novell, for Linux, and for the open source community," Ron Hovsepian, Novell president and CEO, said in a press release. "We have long contended that this effort against Linux has no foundation, and we are pleased that the jury, in a unanimous decision, agrees. I am proud of Novell's role in protecting the best interests of Linux and the open source community."

SCO was represented by Stuart Singer of Boies Schiller & Flexner in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. The company filed for bankruptcy two years ago.

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