Judge finally kicks SCO into touch

The long-in-the-tooth lawsuit brought by SCO against Novell over a number of patents in Unix has finally come to an end, with a judge siding with Novell.

SCO's claims that it owned Unix - even after Novell bought it - were used to back up its claims to the open source Linux, which led the company to fire lawsuits in the direction of IBM and other companies making use of the operating system.

But in his Final Judgment, United States District Court Judge Ted Stewart reaffirmed an earlier jury verdict - from way back in 2007 - that Novell maintained ownership of important UNIX copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own.

"Novell had purposely retained those copyrights," the judge wrote.

He added: "The jury could have rejected the testimony of SCO’s witnesses for a number of reasons, including their lack of involvement in drafting the APA, the fact that there was little testimony on any actual discussions concerning the transfer of copyrights, or that many of the witnesses had a financial interest in the litigation.”

"The Clerk of the Court is directed to close this case forthwith," he wrote.

In a statement commenting on the Judgment, Novell President and CEO Ron Hovsepian said: "After almost a decade of litigation, we are very pleased to see this final judgment uphold all of Novell’s claims. I am very proud of this achievement and the work Novell has done to ensure Linux remains free and open."

The full sorry tale of the case is of course documented on Groklaw from here.