SCO’s lawsuit to stake a claim to UNIX and therefore Linux has foundered, as a federal court ruled Friday that open-source-advocate Novell owns the rights to the core programming underlying both UNIX and Linux.

U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball ruled SCO must allow Novell to let IBM and Sequent use the UNIX codebase (defending IBM against earlier SCO litigation), and the Groklaw blog details just how great a victory this is. The case will go to trial next month, but now the tables are turned, for not only did the judge deny the heart of SCO’s claims, he also allows Novell’s counterclaims for slander-of-title to go to trial. Licensing fees to SCO from Microsoft and a few other players are all that’s left to SCO, and that will dry up quickly.

The litigation threatening UNIX and Linux, enabled by Microsoft’s licensing fees, has held back corporate acceptance of Linux. With this obstacle fading fast, do you think Linux will quickly gain market share?