Judge hears arguments in Novell-SCO suit

A federal judge heard arguments from Novell Inc. and The SCO Group Inc. in a Utah court Tuesday in the "slander of title" case brought by SCO against Novell last January.

Lawyers for SCO and Novell argued two motions during the proceedings, each lasting about 30 minutes, according to Bruce Lowry, a Novell spokesman. Arguments were made over a SCO motion to move the case back to the state court where it had originally been filed, and a Novell motion to dismiss the case.

"We said that he shouldn't dismiss the case, that there is a lot more to be heard still; a lot of evidence to bring forward," said Blake Stowell, a SCO spokesman.

Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah said he would take the arguments under advisement. No timeline was set for when a ruling on the motions would be made, according to Stowell.

The case is effectively a feud over which company owns the copyright to the Unix System V operating system.

Novell sold certain rights to its Unix business in 1995, but claims that it retained copyright over the Unix code. SCO, which eventually acquired the Novell rights, maintains that it now owns the Unix copyright, and has filed a US$5 billion lawsuit against IBM Corp. that is connected to this claim.

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