March 31, 2010

And You Thought This Meant We Were Done With SCO’s Madness [7:44 am]

Nope — hope springs eternal in the heart of an IP litigant, even when rationality has long fled.

Utah Jury Decides Unix Battle in Favor of Novell [pdf]

Novell Inc. never sold ownership rights to Unix computer software code when it allowed another company to take over the servicing of the venerable server operating system used by large corporations, a jury in Utah decided Tuesday.

The verdict was a setback for The SCO Group of Lindon, Utah, which hoped a victory would help lift it out of bankruptcy and strengthen a separate case alleging IBM Corp. misappropriated Unix code for improvements that made the open-source Linux operating system run better.

Some former Novell executives testified that they intended to sell the copyrights along with the Unix operating system, and SCO Group offered an amendment written a year after the 1995 sale that it said transferred the rights.

”Obviously, we’re disappointed in the jury’s decision,” said SCO trial lawyer Stuart H. Singer. ”We were confident in the case, but there’s some important claims remaining to be decided by a judge.”

SCO will ask U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart to award the copyrights to SCO ”even if we didn’t have them before,” he said. ”It’s a setback, but it’s not over.”

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