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A Salt Lake City jury has started deliberations in a case pitting two software companies that each claim ownership of the Unix computer operating systems used by large corporations.

The case could have ramifications far beyond Unix and Novell since some of the intellectual material involved is alleged to have been incorporated into open source Linux.

Red Hat, the world’s leading developer of Linux software and services, is based in Raleigh.

A finding in favor of SCO Group, which is suing Novell, could also have implications for IBM, which employs some 10,000 people in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

SCO has filed lawsuits against both Red Hat and IBM. Those suits were sidelined when SCO filed for bankruptcy.

For in depth coverage of the trial and its implications, The site is hosted and supported by by ibiblio, which is based at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The SCO Group, of Lindon, Utah, filed a lawsuit in 2004 asserting Waltham, Mass.-based Novell Inc. sold it copyrights when it allowed SCO to take over the business of servicing Unix technology in 1995. Novell says it sold the servicing rights, not the copyrights.

SCO is seeking damages of up to $215 million in U.S. District Court.

A victory for SCO would allow it to revive another lawsuit alleging IBM Corp. dumped proprietary Unix code into the open-source Linux operating system.

IBM has denied any wrongdoing.

The jury started deliberating Friday and is expected to take several days to reach a verdict.