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Court grants delay in Apple/Open Group Unix lawsuit

A long-running court case between Apple Computer and The Open Group will continue into next year after the two companies asked that the time for negotiations be extended.

The Open Group, under the name X/Open Company, filed a complaint in December 2001, claiming that Apple was infringing its trademark by using the word Unix in connection with its OS X product.

Apple responded by saying that the word Unix has become generic and has been abandoned as a trademark. The public, it said, does not recognise X/Open Company or any other company as being the source of the word Unix.

Apple and X/Open Company jointly requested that dates set by the court in February be extended. The two companies have reached a resolution to the main areas of dispute during settlement negotiations, but will need until 18 July to complete the documentation and other research that is needed.

They have asked that the cut-off date be moved from 6 June to 29 August, with a pretrial conference on 22 January and the jury trial to be moved from 15 December to 9 February 2004.

The Open Group describes itself on its website as an "international supplier and technology-neutral consortium committed to delivering greater business efficiency" through interoperability testing. It has owned the registered trademark "Unix" since 1994, according to the website.

Meanwhile, the SCO Group and Novell are involved in arguments over who owns the copyright for the Unix operating system itself. Novell said last month that it had not transferred the Unix copyrights or patents to SCO when it sold the operating system in 1995. However, last week SCO claimed to have proof that it did, in fact, own all the copyrights involved.

Gillian Law writes for IDG News Service


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