Novell Cleared To Sue Microsoft Over WordPerfect‎


In 2004, Novell filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging that Microsoft had engaged in predatory behavior towards the market leading WordPerfect productivity suite. Because of Microsoft alleged act, WordPerfect sales plummeted while Microsoft’s Word flourished.

As The Register reports, Novell won an appeal that allows the company to sue Microsoft in an anti-trust suit over the WordPerfect productivity suit. For those that dont remember, Novell owned WordPerfect for a few years back in the 1990s before it sold the software to Corel.

Novell briefly owned WordPerfect for a couple of years in the mid 1990s and the software was the top of the line at the time. Apparently, Novell believes that Microsoft “withheld technical information about Windows” while integrating specific technologies to exclude WordPerfect “from relevant markets.” Microsoft also apparently pressured OEMs to not bundle the productivity suite. Because of this, WordPerfect’s sales plummeted.

Microsoft reacted to the lawsuit in an interview with Bloomberg and said, “We are disappointed with the Fourth’s Circuit’s decision to reverse in part the district court’s summary judgment ruling which dismissed these very old claims, although we are pleased that at this point only one part of one of Novell’s claims remains. We still are convinced that this lingering claim does not have any merit, and we are considering our next steps.”

Novell was unable for a comment but we expect the company to make a statement regarding Microsoft’s response soon.

Just recently, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble and alleged that the company infringed on six patents in it’s Android powered Nook e-reader. Not only that, Microsoft also sued the manufacturers of the Nook, Foxconn and Inventec.

Microsoft’s oversight with the United States Justice Department ends May 12. The settlement reached between teh two parties required strict oversight procedures and explicit requirements to prevent Microsoft from engaging in “Predatory Behavior” towards its rivals.