U.S. judge says Novell owns UNIX copyrights

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:37pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO Aug 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. court ruled on Friday that Novell Inc. NOVL.O owns copyrights to the UNIX computer operating system, a blow to SCO Group's SCOX.O claim to the technology that also jeopardizes a related SCO lawsuit against IBM (IBM.N).

"The court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights," Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for Utah said in the ruling.

He also ruled that Novell could force SCO to drop claims against IBM in a case crucial to the future of the cooperatively developed Linux operating system.

Novell "is entitled, at its sole discretion, to direct SCO to waive" its claim against IBM, the judge wrote.