A federal appeals court has backed a lower court finding that Novell Inc., not SCO Group Inc., owns the copyrights to early versions of the Unix computer operating system, capping an eight-year battle that once stoked the religious fervor of open-source advocates.

Represented by attorneys from Morrison & Foerster and Workman Nydegger, Novell persuaded the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver to uphold a federal jury verdict in Utah last year.