Menu
Novell sues Microsoft over WordPerfect

Novell sues Microsoft over WordPerfect

Novell filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft on Friday accusing the software giant of unfairly eliminating competition for office productivity applications during the time Novell owned the WordPerfect word processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application.

Novell said it intended to move forward with the lawsuit Monday, when it announced a settlement with Microsoft on other antitrust claims. In that settlement, Microsoft agreed to pay Novell US$536 million, and Novell agreed to resolve all antitrust claims relating to Novell's NetWare product, and any other products it currently owns.

Novell and Microsoft engaged in "extensive" discussions in an attempt to resolve the WordPerfect claims without a lawsuit, according to a Novell press release.

The WordPerfect lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Utah, seeks unspecified damages from Microsoft. Novell's lawsuit accuses Microsoft of withholding critical technical information about Windows from Novell, thus impairing Novell's ability to develop new versions of WordPerfect and other Novell office productivity applications. The complaint also alleges that Microsoft integrated technologies into Windows designed to exclude WordPerfect and other Novell applications.

In addition, Novell asserts that Microsoft used its monopoly power to prevent hardware partners from offering WordPerfect and other applications to customers. The lawsuit is based in part on evidence uncovered in the U.S. government's antitrust case against Microsoft, according to Novell.

Although Novell no longer owns WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, the claims are "important and hold considerable value for Novell," Joseph A. LaSala Jr., Novell's senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

Novell merged with WordPerfect Corp. in June 1994. In a related transaction at the same time, Novell purchased Quattro Pro, a spreadsheet product, from Borland International. The combined value of WordPerfect and Quattro Pro at the time of the transactions was over $1 billion, according to Novell. WordPerfect and Quattro Pro were then sold to Corel Corporation in March 1996 for approximately $170 million.

WordPerfect claimed almost 50 percent of the word processing market in 1990, but that share fell to less than 10 percent by the time Novell sold WordPerfect and related applications, according to Novell.

Microsoft disputed Novell's claims that it was responsible for WordPerfect's declining market share. WordPerfect declined to develop products for early versions of Windows, and WordPerfect's market share had already begun to decline before Novell acquired the application, Microsoft noted in a press release.

"Through this lawsuit, Novell seeks to blame Microsoft for its own mismanagement and poor business decisions," the Microsoft press release said. "The record is clear that bad decisions and business mistakes are the reasons WordPerfect fell out of favor with consumers. It’s also unfortunate, and surprising, that Novell has just now chosen to litigate over a business it owned for a very short time and that it sold more than eight years ago."

Desk edit by: Elizabeth Heichler


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments