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SCO sues Novell – retaliation expected

Putting on the writs

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The SCO Group has sued Novell, claiming the born-again Linux company is interfering with SCO's right to collect money from Linux users.

The 'Slander of Title' suit - which is invoked when ownership of a contested property has not yet been established by the courts - seeks to block Novell from filing further UNIX™ copyrights that SCO claims are rightfully its own.

At issue is the 1995 agreement which Novell says transferred some rights to the SCO Group - but not the rights that SCO says it has, and that it needs to pursue its IP claims against IBM and Linux users. SCO's move isn't unexpected , and many anticipate that Novell will file a suit declaring that SCO has broken the 1995 agreement. Novell has been auditing SCO for compliance in recent weeks, and without the agreement SCO would have little basis on which to pursue its wide ranging IP licensing strategy.

"We encourage the public and commercial Linux users to read the Asset Purchase Agreement from 1995 (including Attachment E found at www.sco.com/novell) and Amendment 2 so they can see for themselves that SCO owns the copyrights to UNIX and UnixWare," said Mark Heise of law firm Boies, Schiller Flexner in a canned statement.

SCO is also asking for punitive damages from Novell. ®

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