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Posted: 12:09 PM-Shares of Novell Inc., which has operations in Utah, had their biggest gain in more than nine months after the networking-software maker won a lawsuit against SCO Group Inc. over royalties from users of the Linux computer operating system.

Shares of Novell advanced 29 cents to $6.71 as of about about noon in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They rose as much as 6.7 percent, to $6.85 earlier, the most since November, and had gained 3.5 percent this year before today. SCO shares dropped $1.07, or 69 percent, to 49 cents.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled on Aug. 10 that Novell owns the copyrights covering the Unix computer system and SCO doesn't. SCO has been seeking billions of dollars in royalty payments from Novell and computer companies including International Business Machines Corp.

The ruling means SCO probably can't successfully sue IBM or other Linux users for copyright violations. Linux, modeled on predecessor Unix, is a free operating system that competes with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows.

SCO, based in Lindon, bought certain rights to the Unix operating system from Novell in 1995 for $145 million, including the right to license Unix to others. SCO sued for slander of title after Novell publicly disputed ownership of the Unix copyrights and said that SCO didn't have the right to demand royalties from IBM.