Novell deny SCO claims over SuSE deal

Novell deny SCO claims over SuSE deal

By Stuart Finlayson

Novell has denied claims made by the SCO Group that its proposed acquisition of enterprise Linux company SuSE Linux contravenes a non-compete agreement signed when SCO acquired Unix from Novell eight years ago.

The software vendor issued a statement refuting SCO CEO Darl McBride's claim that the acquisition violates the 1995 agreement.

"Mr. McBride's characterisation of the agreements between Novell and SCO is inaccurate. There is no non-compete provision in these contracts, and the pending acquisition of SuSE Linux does not violate any agreement between Novell and SCO."

The statement went on to say that Novell had received "no formal communication from SCO on this particular issue. Novell understands its rights under the contracts very well, and will respond in due course should SCO choose to formally pursue this issue."

As for whether SCO would pursue Novell on this matter through the courts, McBride kept his cards close to his chest.

"When the Novell-SuSE deal is complete, we will take measures to enforce the non-compete agreement with Novell. I don't know that it will turn into a lawsuit. That depends upon how they respond, and if they put a competitive product in the marketplace."

Of course, SCO is already embroiled in lawsuits with IBM and Red Hat in relation to what it perceives as a violation of copyright of its Unix code in the Linux O/S, with SCO also threatening to start suing large scale Linux users for copyright infringement.

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