Apple is being sued by The Open Group for using the term Unix in material about Mac OS X without licensing the name.

The Open Group claims to have owned the Unix trademark since 1994. Apple has filed a countersuit in the case, claiming that Unix has become a generic term and that the trademark should be declared invalid in response.

The legal argument began 18 months ago, Cnet reports, and has not yet gone to trial. It is expected to reach the courts in February 2004.

The Open Group wants Mac OS X to go through tests to ensure it complies with the Group's standards for using the Unix brand. It also wants Apple to cough up a license fee. The maximum fee is $110,000.