Losing this copyright case will doom the case against IBM. Why in hell would they want to continue on against IBM? The whole suit was about infringing on copyrights and the jury says they don't even own them.
Jury says Novell owns Unix copyrights
Technology » SCO vows to press ahead with IBM lawsuit.
By Tom Harvey
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 03/30/2010 02:17:38 PM MDT
The former federal judge overseeing The SCO Group's bankruptcy said a jury decision today that Novell Inc., and not SCO, owns the copyrights to the Unix computer operating system does not end the company's litigation against others.
Former U.S. District Judge Edward Cahn, the trustee for SCO's bankruptcy filed in Delaware, said the company is "deeply disappointed" in the jury's verdict in the dispute over which company owned the copyrights to Unix, which is widely used in business computing.
But Cahn said SCO intends to continue its lawsuit against IBM, in which the computer giant is accused of using Unix code to make the Linux operating system a viable competitor, causing a decline in SCO's revenues.
"The copyright claims are gone, but we have other claims based on contracts," Cahn said.
The former judge, who recommended to the bankruptcy court last year that SCO continue to pursue lawsuits against Novell and IBM, said he will meet with lawyers to discuss what today's verdict does to the company's Unix business and what it means to SCO's future.
Novell said it is not in that business despite the verdict. During the trial, Novell attorneys argued it retained the copyrights when it sold Unix in 1995. Novell has placed its business bets on Linux, a system known as open source. That means anyone is given free access to its basic codes that are developed by people in the open source community.
The community sees SCO's lawsuits against Novell and IBM as unjustified attacks on the system it promotes as an alternative to commercial products such as Unix and Windows. Novell, IBM, Red Hat and other companies built products for sale around the Linux.
"Novell is 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," the company said in a blog posted shortly after the verdict was announced. "Novell remains committed to promoting Linux, including by defending Linux on the intellectual property front."
Lawyers for SCO had contended Novell owed it millions of dollars for lost sales revenue and that it was due punitive damages on top of that. SCO claimed it lost as much as $215 million as a result of Novell's actions, which stretch back to 2003.
After a three-week trial before the jury and presiding Judge Ted Stewart, the jury started deliberations about noon Friday and then resumed Tuesday morning before reaching the verdict that was announced about noon.
SCO sued in 2004 after Novell claimed it had retained the copyrights when it sold Unix in 1995. That claim came after SCO had sued IBM.
About the same time, SCO also sent letters to businesses using Linux, demanding they buy licenses from SCO because Linux made use of the Unix code.