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Unix copyrights to stay with Novell in merger

Novell says it will retain its hard-won copyrights to Unix, though the question of how that plays into Novell's acquisition by Attachmate is still up in the air.

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Novell today announced that it would continue to be the owner of its copyrights to Unix.

The news comes just two days after Novell announced plans to be acquired by Attachmate as part of a $2.2 billion deal that also involved the sale of some of the company's intellectual property being sold to the Microsoft-organized tech consortium CPTN Holdings.

"Novell will continue to own Novell's Unix copyrights following completion of the merger as a subsidiary of Attachmate," Novell's chief marketing officer, John Dragoon, said on the company's site earlier today.

What remains to be seen are the specifics of the 882 patents and other intellectual property that will go to the consortium as part of the deal. These will be listed in a merger filing that will be submitted to the SEC. A legal expert told CNET that filing could arrive within the next few weeks, but is more likely to take months given the inherent complexity of the deal.

Novell's ownership of the Unix copyrights were the center of a hard-fought legal battle with the SCO Group that began in 2004, and was decided earlier this year in favor of Novell.