Introduction Edit

“In the late 1960s and early 1970s, AT&T developed UNIX, a computer operating system facilitating communications over the Internet.[1]

History Edit

"By the 1980s, AT&T had developed UNIX System V (“SVRX”); it built a substantial business by licensing UNIX source code to a number of major computer manufacturers, including IBM, Sun, and Hewlett-Packard. These manufacturers, in turn, would use the SVRX source code to develop their own individualized UNIX-derived 'flavors' for use on their computer systems. Licensees could modify the source code and create derivative products mostly for internal use, but agreed to keep the UNIX source code confidential.

"In 1993, Novell paid over $300 million to purchase UNIX System Laboratories, the AT&T spin-off that owned the UNIX copyrights and licenses. Only two years later, however, Novell decided to sell its UNIX business. Although Novell may have initially intended “to sell the complete UNIX business,” both parties agree that Santa Cruz was either unwilling or unable to commit sufficient financial resources to purchase the entire UNIX business outright. The deal was therefore structured so that Novell would retain a 95% interest in SVRX license royalties, which had totaled $50 million in 1995.[2]


  1. America Online, Inc. v. AT&T Corp., 64 F.Supp.2d 549, 555, 51 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1865 (E.D. Va. 1999)(full-text).
  2. The SCO Group, Inc. v. Novell, Inc., 578 F. 3d 1201 (10th Cir. Aug. 24, 2009)(full-text).

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