Novell can proceed with a long-running antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft after an appeals court reversed a lower court’s summary judgment in favor of Microsoft. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a lower court’s ruling and ruled that Novell can proceed with its antitrust case against the Redmond computer giant, according to Reuters.
In 2004, Novell sued Microsoft in its own right, claiming that Microsoft’s practices illegally harmed WordPerfect and Quattro Pro when those programs were owned by Novell, between 1994 and 1996.
In November, Seattle-based Attachmate Corp. has reached an agreement to buy Novell Inc., the Massachusetts-based Linux vendor, for $2.2 billion.
Meanwhile, a consortium known as CPTN Holdings LLC that includes Apple, Oracle and EMC in addition to Microsoft, bought 882 Novell patents for $450 million.
A representative for Novell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Microsoft played down Novell’s claims and said it was considering its next move.
“We are disappointed with the Fourth’s Circuit’s decision … although we are pleased that at this point only one part of one of Novell’s claims remains,” said a Microsoft spokeswoman. “We still are convinced that this lingering claim does not have any merit, and we are considering our next steps.”