Novell wins final judgment in SCO battle

A Utah judge favored Novell on every issue, but SCO could still appeal

It's not the first time onlookers have declared that the long-running legal dispute between Novell and SCO is over, but many are saying that a Thursday judgment favoring Novell on all counts is the end of the road.

"The door has slammed shut on the SCO litigation machine," wrote Pamela Jones, a paralegal who has closely followed the SCO v. Novell case since its beginning on her Groklaw blog.

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah on Thursday granted Novell's request for declaratory judgment and ruled against SCO's claims of slander and breach of implied covenant of good faith. He also said that SCO is obligated to recognize Novell's waiver of SCO's claims against IBM and other companies that use Linux. He ordered the case closed.

The judgment follows a jury decision in March that found that Novell owns Unix copyrights that SCO had tried to assert as its own.

The battle dates back to 2003 when SCO sued IBM, claiming that it had violated SCO's rights by contributing Unix code to Linux. The following year, SCO sued Novell, saying that it falsely claimed rights to Unix.

Jones notes that SCO could decide to appeal the decision.

SCO did not reply to a request for comment on the judgment.

In a statement, Novell's CEO said it was pleased to see the final judgment upheld all of its claims. "I am very proud of this achievement and the work Novell has done to ensure Linux remains free," said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell.

On Friday morning, John Dragoon, chief marketing officer for Novell, posted this message on Twitter: "Friday's word for the day #justice."

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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