SCO does not own the copyrights to UNIX code. Novell does. A Utah ruled in Novell's favor late Friday, according to this Forbes report. Forbes' Daniel Lyons says the judgment is likely a fatal blow to the Lindon, Utah-based company's four-year-old suit against IBM:
For SCO, it's a fizzle of an ending to a case that began with loads of bluster and bravado. In March 2003, SCO Group [...] sued IBM, claiming IBM took code from UNIX and put it into Linux. SCO also warned hundreds of customers that they might be in legal trouble for using Linux.
SCO based its claims on a transaction in which its predecessor company had licensed UNIX from Novell, but Novell stepped into the IBM suit and argued that it had retained the copyrights to the code in that transaction. So before SCO could proceed against IBM, it had to prove ownership of the copyrights.
Though the case was set for trial next month, the court entered summary judgment for Novell on Friday. Linux enthusiasts are celebrating; they reportedly see the decision as "vindication." SCO officials say they plan to pursue other claims against Novell, and the story indicates that an appeal has not been ruled out.