The increasingly acrimonious battle for ownership of Linux intensified yesterday when SCO Group attacked Novell with a 'slander of title' lawsuit.
SCO is alleging that Novell acted in bad faith and interfered with SCO's rights with respect to Unix and UnixWare.
Among the allegations in the suit, SCO said that Novell acted in bad faith to block SCO's ability to enforce its copyrights, and has "improperly filed copyright registrations in the US Copyright Office for Unix technology covered by SCO's copyrights".
In addition, SCO accused Novell of making false and misleading public claims that it, and not SCO, owns the Unix and UnixWare copyrights.
SCO alleges that these claims were made to put customers and potential customers off of doing business with SCO.
"The injunction would require Novell to assign to SCO all copyrights that Novell has wrongfully registered, prevent Novell from representing any ownership interest in those copyrights, and require Novell to retract or withdraw all representations it has made regarding its purported ownership of those copyrights," SCO stated.
The lawsuit, filed at the Utah State Court in Salt Lake City, requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief as well as damages because Novell's alleged actions have done SCO "irreparable harm to its copyrights, its business, and its reputation".
The legal action goes on to seek damages of an "amount to be proven at trial" for Novell's alleged slander of SCO's title to the Unix and UnixWare copyrights.
In addition, the lawsuit seeks punitive damages for "Novell's malicious and wilful conduct".
Mark Heise, partner with Boies, Schiller and Flexner, the firm of lawyers acting for SCO, said: "SCO takes this action today given Novell's recent and repeated announcements regarding their claimed ownership of the Unix and UnixWare copyrights.
"SCO has received many questions about Novell's actions from potential customers, investors and the press.
"Although SCO owns the Unix and UnixWare copyrights, Novell's efforts to claim ownership of these copyrights has forced this action."
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