X/Open Receives UNIX Trademark From Novell

Furthers Freedom of Choice for Customers Solidifies Industry Commitment to Unified UNIX Specification

Trenton, New Jersey -- October 11, 1993 -- X/Open Company Ltd. today announced an agreement with Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ:  NOVL) under which the UNIX trademark will be transferred to X/Open, the leading international open systems standards organization. This agreement is solid evidence of the industry-wide commitment to deliver a single compatible UNIX specification to customers.  It will increase users' choice of open systems suppliers that conform to pragmatic industry standards and enable software developers to market and maintain single UNIX product versions.

This agreement reinforces and extends the announcement made on September 1, in which 75 computer manufacturers and software developers agreed to adopt a common application programming interface specification, known as Spec 1170.  This specification is based upon the UNIX operating system and added features, and will assure application portability across multiple systems architectures.

The registered trademark, UNIX, represents one of the assets transferred to Novell through its acquisition of UNIX System Laboratories (USL) on June 14, 1993, and was formerly the property of AT&T Bell Laboratories, where the UNIX operating system was developed in 1969. Also announced today, Novell, Inc. will join X/Open as a full shareholder and member of the X/Open board of directors.

Speaking at the announcement, X/Open president and CEO Geoff Morris said, "The market now has a single specification that ensures compatibility of all UNIX systems, governed by the quality and value represented by the X/Open brand.  This agreement unifies the open systems industry around one UNIX specification and will eliminate the basic incompatibilities that previously existed between various UNIX implementations.  The X/Open brand will provide users with a single specification that assures compatibility across all compliant systems throughout their organization."

In the future, all systems bearing the name UNIX will be tested and branded by X/Open, thus providing assurance of conformance and quality to the buyer.  The UNIX trademark will be integrated into X/Open's wider open systems specifications which also address areas of system management, network management, and the desktop environment.  The assurances guaranteed through the X/Open branding practices will allow UNIX to be better managed, better controlled and better protected than ever before.

By late 1994, X/Open will develop and implement this extension to the branding program which will include full test suites for conformance. UNIX system vendors have agreed to comply with this program in order to use the UNIX trademark.  Software developers who create applications based upon Spec 1170 can have a high degree of confidence that their applications will run unaltered on systems from different vendors using the same microprocessor architectures.  In addition, they will be able to run across multiple architectures with a simple recompile.  In the past, applications frequently had to be rewritten to run on different systems.

"Novell acquired the UNIX operating system to help make it universal," said Ray Noorda, president and CEO of Novell, Inc.  "We are transferring the UNIX trademark to X/Open because we believe an open systems standard cannot be owned by a single vendor.  We also believe that a single specification with many implementations is essential to providing customers the variety of choices they want in building a networked computing environment that fits their specific needs.  We are confident in the stewardship of X/Open as the new home for the UNIX trademark, and we are confident that the industry can work cooperatively to provide a strong open system alternative for the marketplace."

X/Open will make the UNIX trademark available immediately to vendors' products which are currently in conformance with XPG (XPG3 BASE or XPG4 BASE) and SVID (version 2 or 3), and are derived from USL operating system technology.  Vendors meeting these criteria, committing to compliance with Spec 1170, and entering into a trademark agreement with X/Open, will be permitted to call their products UNIX.  These suppliers will also be required to demonstrate compliance to Spec 1170 once test suites are available.

X/Open will manage and protect the use of the UNIX trademark in the interest of the industry.  Users of the UNIX trademark will pay license fees to X/Open based upon volume of UNIX system products shipped. X/Open, founded in 1984, is a worldwide, independent, open systems organization dedicated to providing a unified path to open systems specification and implementation.

This unification is achieved through the close cooperation and integration of input from users, vendors, and standards organizations worldwide.  The X/Open specification, which covers both interoperability and applications portability elements, is based on de facto and international standards. X/Open operates a test and verification process for products developed in line with its specification, and awards its brand as the mark of compliance.

X/Open and the "X" device are registered trademarks of X/Open Company Ltd. in the United Kingdom and other countries. 

UNIX is a registered trademark, licensed exclusively by X/Open Company Ltd.

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