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SCO bankruptcy filing delays start of SCO-Novell trial

It had been scheduled to start today in Salt Lake City

By Todd R. Weiss
September 17, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - The start of today's scheduled trial between The SCO Group Inc. and Novell Inc. has been postponed indefinitely because of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization SCO announced on Friday.

The trial had been scheduled to determine how much money SCO might have to pay Novell for Unix licensing revenues collected by SCO over the past several years. The issue arose after SCO lost several key court rulings last month in its legal fight against Novell, IBM and others over what it asserts is the company's Unix intellectual property.

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Kimball in Salt Lake City undercut much of SCO's case in a ruling that declared Novell the owner of the Unix and UnixWare copyrights; that led to today's planned trial. At issue was the fate of Unix licensing revenue SCO has received from Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

But instead of facing Novell in court today, Lindon, Utah-based SCO will instead appear tomorrow for an initial hearing before a bankruptcy court judge in Utah for a high-level review of the company's bankruptcy filing. Further related hearings will then be scheduled by the court.

The SCO-Novell trial was automatically delayed because of the bankruptcy filing and will be reviewed at a later date, pending the decision of the bankruptcy court judge. On Friday, SCO announced that it had filed a voluntary petition for reorganization, as well as for its subsidiary, SCO Operations Inc., as it deals with its "financial and legal challenges." The company said it will continue to conduct business and serve its customers during the bankruptcy proceedings.

A SCO spokesman could not be reached for comment today.

Read more about Linux and Unix in Computerworld's Linux and Unix Topic Center.

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