Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fourth Circuit keeps suit against Microsoft alive

In NOVELL v. MICROSOFT, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court order holding that Novell's antitrust complaint against Microsoft regarding the company's former productivity applications that competed with Office can go forward. Novell eventually sold the WordPerfect word processor and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet to Corel in 1996, but sued Microsoft in 2004 for anticompetitive practices it alleges Microsoft engaged in while Novell still owned the products.

The lower court ruled that four of Novell's claims had passed the statute of limitations and were no longer valid. In affirming the other two claims, however, the appeals court ruled that, since they were both named in the U.S. Department of Justice's own antitrust complaint, they were not subject to the same time limits.

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