A long-running legal tussle between Novell Inc. and Santa Cruz Operations, better known as SCO, over the ownership of UNIX software code has eventually ended on Tuesday with a federal jury giving decision in favour of Novell.
The judge in the US District Court for the District of Nevada has concluded the six-year long legal battle between Novell and Utah-based SCO by ruling that Novell still owns the copyrights of UNIX software code.
Evincing its satisfaction with the decision, Novell said that it was "very pleased with the jury’s decision confirming Novell’s ownership of the UNIX copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on Linux" before adding that it "remains committed to promoting Linux, including by defending Linux on the intellectual property front.”
Back in 1995, Novell sold the UNIX source code along with some extra assets to SCO, and the latter argues that an amendment agreement between the two in 1996 also transferred the copyrights for the same.
This subsequently made the company to kick off new initiatives to enforce intellectual property rights, and it even entered into a partnership with Sun. During the course the company sued several Linux outfits, including IBM, Red Hat, Autozone, and Novell.
The verdict comes as a major setback for the SCO Group, which has already filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as the decision could also impact its pending case with IBM.
This could well be the end for SCO which is now likely to become a footnote in tech history. There was really no incentive for them to go on the attack in the first place and by choosing to do so, they manage to get the rest of the industry on their back starting with IBM.