Jury seated in SCO lawsuit against Novell

Tom Harvey
The Salt Lake Tribune

March 8, 2010

A jury has been seated to hear the lawsuit in which The SCO Group is claiming Novell interfered with its ownership of the Unix computer operating system and cost it more than $100 million in business.

Opening arguments are set to begin today in the dispute in which The SCO Group of Lindon is asking the jury to declare it, and not Novell, owns the copyrights to the Unix, system used by many companies.

If it wins, SCO says it is owed as much as $215 million by Novell, plus punitive damages that could be several times that amount, because it lost business as a result of Novell's actions.

A win by Novell probably would mean the demise of The SCO Group, which is already struggling in bankruptcy court.

A jury was seated Monday on the first day of what is expected to a three-week trial in federal court in Salt Lake City before Judge Ted Stewart.

SCO says Novell interfered with its business when the latter declared in 2003 that it retained the copyrights to Unix after the system was sold to a California company in the 1990s and then subsequently resold to SCO.

Novell's actions came after SCO sued IBM, claiming the computer giant had used copyrighted Unix code to make changes to the competing Linux operating system that also caused the Utah company to begin losing revenue.

Copyright 2010