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Appeals court reverses Unix-Novell decision

DENVER (AP) — The fate of ownership of the Unix computer operating system is heading to trial after a federal appeals court reversed a judge's decision that granted the copyright to Novell Inc.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a judge in August 2007 erred in granting the copyright to Novell. The software and computer infrastructure company has been locked in a years-long legal battle with Lindon-based SCO Group Inc. over ownership to the Unix copyright.

Part of the Unix computer code was developed by AT&T Inc. in 1969 and is used in the Linux computer operating system that is distributed for free. Novell claims it retained the copyright when it sold Unix licensing and development rights to SCO in 1995.