SCO sues Novell for slander

SCO Group has filed a slander lawsuit against Novell, claiming the company has engaged in bad faith efforts to deny SCO's rights...

SCO Group has filed a slander lawsuit against Novell, claiming the company has engaged in bad faith efforts to deny SCO's rights to Unix and UnixWare.

The SCO lawsuit, alleges that Novell has made false claims that it owns the Unix and UnixWare copyrights.

Since mid-2003, the two companies have been locked in a legal dispute over which company owns the source code for Unix System V.

The foundation of SCO's claim is that the Linux operating system contains SCO's intellectual property.

In December, Novell confirmed that it had been filing copyrights on parts of the Unix System V code.

The latest SCO lawsuit, which claims Novell has slandered SCO's title to Unix, also alleges that:

  • Novell had improperly filed copyright registrations for Unix technology covered by SCO's copyrights.
  • Novell had made false statements with the intent to cause customers and potential customers to avoid doing business with SCO.
  • Novell had attempted, in bad faith, to block SCO's ability to enforce its copyrights.
  • Novell's false and misleading representations that it owns the Unix and UnixWare copyrights have caused SCO irreparable harm to its copyrights, its business and its reputation.

The lawsuit requests preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring Novell to assign to SCO all copyrights that Novell has registered and preventing Novell from representing any ownership interest in those copyrights.

The SCO lawsuit comes after "repeated announcements regarding their claimed ownership" of Unix and UnixWare copyrights, said SCO lawyer Mark Heise of the Boies, Schiller and Flexner law firm.

"Although SCO owns the Unix and UnixWare copyrights, Novell's efforts to claim ownership of these copyrights has forced this action."

The lawsuit seeks damages in an amount to be proven at trial for Novell's alleged slander of SCO's title to the Unix and UnixWare copyrights. In addition, the lawsuit seeks punitive damages for Novell's malicious and willful conduct.

Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service

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