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Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect
Friday, November 12 2004 @ 06:46 PM EST

Well, they dood it. Just like they said they would, Novell has filed a complaint in US District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, against Microsoft. You can get the complaint from Novell's website.

It's filed under the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. §15, "for damages suffered by Novell by reason of the anticompetitive conduct of Microsoft in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act 15 U.S.C.§§ 1, 2." You can read the Clayton Act here and the Sherman Act on the Dept. of Justice's Anti-Trust page. They are both anti-trust statutes.

The complaint alleges:

"5. Microsoft abused its monopoly power in the PC operating systems market to suppress the sales of WordPerfect and Novell's related office productivity applications. Microsoft targeted these applications because of their potential to provide Microsoft's competitors with a way across the barriers to entry that protected Microsoft's existing operating systems monopoly. In addition, and just as importantly, WordPerfect and Novell's other applications were leaders in the additional markets that Microsoft sought to monopolize.

"6. Microsoft thus attacked Novell with some of the same anticompetitive acts for which Microsoft was held liable in United States v. Microsoft Corp, 87 F.Supp.2d 30 (D.D.C. 2000), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied 534 U.S. U.S. 952 (2001)(the "Government Suit"). Those anticompetitive acts included integrating browsing functions into the Windows operating system in an exclusionary manner, entering agreements in restraint of trade, and otherwise using the Windows monopoly to exclude competing applications from important channels of distribution.

7. Bill Gates, Microsoft's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, targeted Novell's applications by name in documents recording Microsoft's anticompetitive schemes, in which he explained that the integration of browsing functions into Windows, coupled with Microsoft's refusal to publish certain of these functions, was a primary strategy for excluding Novell's applications from the markets. He candidly admitted that Microsoft's own products could not compete without the benefit of these anticompetitive acts.

8. By reason of Microsoft's anticompetitive acts, WordPerfect's share of the word processing market, which was nearly 50 percent in 1990, fell to approximately 30 percent in 1994, and to less than 10 percent by the time Novell sold WordPerfect and the related applications in 1996. Over the same period of time, and due to the same anticompetitive acts, Microsoft Word's share of the word processing market rose from less than 20 percent prior to 1990 to a monopoly share of approximately 90 percent by 1996. As a result, Novell suffered lost profits and goodwill during the period in which it owned the rights to WordPerfect and related office productivity applications, and the value of these assets declined by approximatelly $1 billion between May 1994 and their sale in March 1996."

Peter Galli has Microsoft's reaction. Or you can read their press release in full. Here is the heart of it:

"Through this lawsuit, Novell seeks to blame Microsoft for its own mismanagement and poor business decisions. 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.

"Prior to Novell’s purchase of WordPerfect in 1994, WordPerfect had already begun to decline. Indeed, Novell’s stock dropped 15 percent the day after it announced the acquisition. WordPerfect deliberately chose not to develop a version for early versions of Windows® in the hope that depriving Windows of a key application would limit the success of Windows. This and other missteps led to a decline in WordPerfect popularity that resulted in Novell selling it for approximately one-eighth of what was paid for it only 20 months earlier.

"There are other fundamental flaws in Novell’s complaint. Given that Novell hasn’t owned WordPerfect for eight years, their claims should be barred by the legal doctrine called the Statute of Limitations.

"It is also surprising that Novell seeks to use the Court’s findings in the Department of Justice case against Microsoft. That case had nothing to do with WordPerfect or any other office productivity software, and focused almost exclusively on other markets and technologies. In fact, Novell was barely mentioned during the U.S. antitrust trial. Moreover, the U.S. antitrust laws do not support Novell’s claims that a company is required to share its inventions and trade secrets with its competitors.."

I can see it now. Someday, if Microsoft really does force companies into patent agreements with them and then starts attacking Linux with "patent infringement" lawsuits, either directly or using a patent shell, it could be Novell v. Microsoft, or USA v. Microsoft all over again.

Microsoft also has a transcript of the announcement they made about the earlier settlement with Novell and CCIA, and here's a bit on their motivation:

"We and Novell were not able to reach agreement on one other claim that Novell asserted in these negotiations. That is a claim relating to Novell's ownership of the WordPerfect business for a bit under two years, from 1994 to 1996. We did not regard that claim as being of anything close to a similar magnitude and in general we believe that the claim doesn't have merit and is barred by the statute of limitations at this point, but we've all resolved to turn to the courts for an answer on the WordPerfect claim.

"We also announced today an agreement with CCIA. Under the terms of that agreement, CCIA similarly is withdrawing from all further participation in the European Union litigation, both the interim measures case and the merits case. In addition, CCIA is withdrawing a complaint that it has pending before the European Commission regarding Windows XP. That complaint, as many of you may know, was a principal obstacle to our ability to negotiate a settlement with the European Commission this past March. We were able to reach agreement with the Commission on all of the issues in the present case that is now before the Court of First Instance, but we were not able to reach agreement on the issues in the CCIA complaint. The CCIA complaint has now been withdrawn. CCIA also agreed not to seek review by the Supreme Court of the U.S. lawsuit.

"We're also delighted to have the opportunity to join CCIA as a member and to work with CCIA on a wide variety of issues that we believe are important to the future of our industry.

"Putting the two things together, I would note two important aspects of today's agreements. First, these agreements represent another substantial milestone in Microsoft's resolving the issues that have divided our industry over the past decade. The agreement literally brings to a close, finally, the longstanding U.S. antitrust lawsuit that began in 1998. There had been three parties that had remained in that lawsuit. The State of Massachusetts had previously announced that it would not seek Supreme Court review. Another trade association, SIIA, had allowed its deadline to file review with the Supreme Court to lapse and it did not seek review. CCIA had requested and received from the Supreme Court an extension of time under which it could file with the Supreme Court. Today's settlement means that it is not filing. Today's settlement means that the longstanding antitrust litigation in the U.S. is now over. We, of course, have a very important Consent Decree and we are very focused on complying with that but the litigation phase is now complete.

"Similarly, this case represents an important milestone in our reaching agreement with the competitors that have been active in the European proceedings. In our minds there were five entities that were very broadly involved in the European case. We have now reached agreement with four of them. We have reached agreement with AOL-Time Warner, now Time Warner in May of 2003, we reached agreement with Sun Microsystems in April 2004, today we are announcing agreement with Novell and CCIA. That really leaves only one entity that at least in our minds has been involved in a very broad way, and that is Real Networks. It means that Real Networks is now really standing alone in terms of continuing with the litigation path in Europe and elsewhere.

"We believe that this sends a strong message that we and other companies in our industry do have the capacity now to sit down face to face and resolve the kinds of thorny antitrust issues that in the past were left instead to the government to resolve. We think that's important in Europe as well as in the United States and elsewhere and we're very pleased with this type of additional progress.

"The second major theme in my mind that is quite important is the foundation this creates for our industry to work together on the important issues of the future. These agreements help unite our industry on the key issues that will affect our ability to grow and create jobs in the United States and around the world.

"We are all looking to the next four years of an administration in Washington and the next five years with officials in the European Commission soon to take office in Brussels.

"And as we look on both continents to these next number of years, it's clear that there are a number of issues that will be very important for our industry: We need to ensure strong support for research and development, as well as strong support for the types of immigration policies that will enable software developers to continue to come work for companies in the United States.

"We need to take the kinds of steps that will broaden Internet access and protect the consumer privacy and security rights that are important to giving consumers confidence in using the Internet.

"As we increasingly lay to rest the issues that have divided our industry over the past decade, it creates the foundation for us to work in a stronger manner as an industry to address the economic and other issues that will be important in the future, so we're very pleased by that aspect of this as well.

"Reflecting the progress that we have continued to make in resolving the antitrust issues, we have reached a point where for the first time we believe we can estimate as a company the additional exposure that is reasonably possible that Microsoft will incur as a result of all of the remaining antitrust cases and claims, and therefore we included in our press release the point that we are estimating that it's reasonably possible that Microsoft will incur additional exposure of up to $950 million for the remaining antitrust cases and claims. That includes all of the remaining cases such as the Real Networks case and the Burst case. It includes the remaining class action litigation in the United States. It includes all other claims of which we are aware. So that too reflects I think the significant progress that today's agreements represent."

I am guessing that "strong support for research and development" is code for patents. Incidentally, Nokia has quit CCIA over their agreement with Microsoft. The CCIA explains itself here and in their press release.


Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect | 314 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
please list any errors you find here...
Authored by: seanlynch on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:05 PM EST
please list any errors you find here...

('dood' is not an error, dude.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here, please
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:07 PM EST
And to start with: I understand "dood" as in "they dood it". But a fair number of people who visit this site do not have English as their first language, and that kind of verbal stunt may be hard for them to follow. So, this is not really a correction, since this wasn't a mistake; but I recommend that you not do such things in the main story. (I know, it is fun...)


[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect
Authored by: inode_buddha on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:09 PM EST
Arrgh! I don't know if I should be amazed or not!!???

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." --
Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Official "The SCO Group" Positions - Twenty-eight days without a post
Authored by: AllParadox on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:16 PM EST
Main posts in this thread may only be made by senior managers or attorneys for
"The SCO Group". Main posts must use the name and position of the
poster at "The SCO Group". Main posters must post in their official
capacity at "The SCO Group".

Sub-posts will also be allowed from non-"The SCO Group" employees or
attorneys. Sub-posts from persons not connected with "The SCO Group"
must be very polite, address other posters and the main poster with the
honorific "Mr." or "Mrs." or "Ms.", as
appropriate, use correct surnames, not call names or suggest or imply unethical
or illegal conduct by "The SCO Group" or its employees or attorneys.
This thread requires an extremely high standard of conduct and even slightly
marginal posts will be deleted.

P.J. says you must be on your very best behavior.

If you want to comment on this thread, please post under "O/T"

All is paradox: I no longer practice law, so this is just another layman's
opinion. For a Real Legal Opinion, buy one from a licensed Attorney

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Reaction?
Authored by: Brian S. on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:21 PM EST
Am I dreaming? I've seen that unattributed Microsoft reaction almost word for
word before today and I think it may have been on Groklaw.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT Here.
Authored by: Brian S. on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:36 PM EST
Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Oversight Comittee
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:53 PM EST

Part of the settlement of the American government anti-trust case against Microsoft was the creation of the Microsoft Oversight Committee. This committee oversees Microsoft's compliance with the settlement. As I understand it this committee has some of the powers of a parole officer such as issuing orders to Microsoft to behave nicely and searching Microsoft records without a search warrent. No doubt the Microsoft Oversight Committee can be a thorn in Microsoft's side if they choose to be.

Microsoft Oversight Committee

Lately, Microsoft has been making announcements that they are settling all of the outstanding disputes connected with the American anti-trust settlement as fast as they can. Is there some legal benefit to Microsoft by doing so? When all outstanding issues are settled does the Microsoft Oversight Committee disappear and get out of Microsoft's hair?

Now Novell is sueing Microsoft over WordPerfect. Part of Novell's complaint cites the American anti-trust settlement. Obviously this is to Novell's advantage because Novell does not have to reprove that which was already proved in the anti-trust case. But does citing the anti-trust case also give Novell some leverage in that the WordPerfect suite now becomes another obstacle in Microsoft's way to getting rid of the Microsoft Oversight Committee?

Steve Stites

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not exactly the best day for Microsoft...
Authored by: SirFozzie on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:14 PM EST
(edited from /.)

"German PC-Welt magazine reports that Microsoft used an illegal copy of
SoundForge 4.5 for editing Wave files shipped with Windows Media Player. You can
check that yourself by opening any file in the
HelpToursWindowsMediaPlayerAudioWav folder in notepad or other editors of
your choice and looking at the last line. There you will find a reference to
SoundForge 4.5 and also a user called "Deepz0ne" who happen to be one
of the founders of an audio software cracking group called Radium."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect
Authored by: Jude on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:20 PM EST
WordPerfect deliberately chose not to develop a version for early versions of Windows®
in the hope that depriving Windows of a key application would limit the success of Windows.

That's not the story I heard. What I thought happened was that Microsoft told the Wordperfect
developers that OS/2 was where the action was going to be, sending Wordperfect down what
turned out to be a dead end when Microsoft abandoned OS/2 to concentrate on Windows.

I do not know if the above is factual. I would like to hear from any Groklaw readers that can confirm or refute this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Old Joke
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:28 PM EST
I heard this around the time Novell bought word perfect...

Q: How much is a good word processor worth?
A: I don't know, but it must be a lot because a bad one is worth $1 billion.

[ Reply to This | # ]

    Hopefully Novell just wants to keep Microsloth busy with anti-trust suits...
    Authored by: kawabago on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:31 PM EST
    So Billie can't start his little patent war before Novell, IBM et al are ready
    to take them on.

    constructive irrelevance.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why do many law offices use word perfect?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:40 PM EST
    As a bit of an aside, many law offices I have encountered still use Word Perfect to this day. These include a number of promonent D.C. area firms which I have personally delt with, as well as many of the individual attorneys who work at the SEC. I am curious why so many lawyers choose Word Perfect over Word. Perhaps as a para-legal, PJ is familiar with this phenomena and could offer some input?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Figuring Damages: Novell against Microsoft over WordPerfect
    Authored by: webster on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:48 PM EST
    WP had large % of the wordprocessing business. It was particularly popular
    among law firms as I recall.

    Then M$ took after them and wiped them out with their illegal antitrust

    So now M$ has almost a monopoly in the wordprocessing market.

    No wonder they could not agree on settling this.

    Lets make a rough calculation:

    ---xx% = WordPerfect (WP) share prior to M$ misconduct.

    ----Period of M$ antitrust abuse.

    ----current M$ share of market = yy%

    ----current WP share of market = zz%

    (xx% - zz%) of current market = WP damages.

    Current market is yy% plus change. A good chunk of M$ profit in their Word

    They have some leverage. They know M$ doesn't want to see a jury. M$ wants to
    pay them a little and maintain their monopoly practices. Will Novell management
    take a few billion and leave the monopoly or will they force a settlement of
    "open" or "interoperable" practices?

    We'll be watching. Hope it isn't settled on the golf course.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Said the spider to the fly
    Authored by: inode_buddha on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 09:30 PM EST
    Said the spider to the fly:

    "We're also delighted to have the opportunity to join CCIA..."

    PJ wonders thusly:"I am guessing that "strong support for research and development" is code for patents."
    After all of my industry-watching and participation, PJ's guess is guess is correct, just IMHO.

    "When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." -- Richard M. Stallman

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Taking the kinds of steps...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 09:53 PM EST

    ``We need to take the kinds of steps that will broaden Internet access and protect the consumer privacy and security rights that are important to giving consumers confidence in using the Internet.''

    They mean strong DRM and proprietary and patent-ridden protocols. Nope. Sorry, Microsoft. If that's what you have in mind -- and everything you been up to the last few weeks seems to point strongly in that direction -- you are mistaken. Please try again. What keeps consumers from accessing the internet had nothing to do with anything that you will be able to provide. Widely available broadband? Hmm... Don't see that in your product line. Secure consumer privacy? Don't see you doing much about that either. Security rights? Well that's one area where you have been active but not, despite all your statements, because of any great concern for us "consumers". I see your activities in this area as nothing monopoly maintenance sucking up to the RIAA and MPAA with the long term goal of being able to charge a transaction fee every time someone accesses a bit of music or a movie online.

    You want to help "consumers" feel comfortable accessing the Internet? Try releasing software that doesn't crash and burn and take our family photos, children's homework, and other personal files with it when it invariably dies for no other reason than merely using it. Try releasing software that we can use that doesn't expose us to financial ruin because of the security flaws that allow back-hat hackers to snoop around in our computers and gain access to our private information. And we're not too crazy about the flaws in Windows that allow our computers to become pawns in some criminal's extortion scheme when we visit a web site or read our email only to have our computer zombified and used to DDOS some other site for another's gain.

    Those are some of the steps you could take. If you actually had the customer in mind, that is.

    Oh and by the way: Some of us don't like the term "consumers". It's almost as degrading as being called "sheep". You never heard it said that "the consumer is always right". We are the reason you are able to make a living. Better start listening to us.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:00 PM EST
    I wonder why CCIA decided to burry the hatchet with Microsoft. For a long time
    it has been fighting Microsoft's monopoly tactics. Did Microsoft promise to
    change its ways?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What division?
    Authored by: billmason on Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:12 PM EST
    What is all this noise about "issues that have divided our industry"?
    What division is this? Maybe Microsoft is divided from the rest of the
    industry. They make it sound like one half was one way and the other half was
    another. It would have been more accurate to say "issues that have divided
    Microsoft from the rest of the industry." Of course, Microsoft is not
    exactly known for its accurate portrayals.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Ha ha ha....
    Authored by: moosie on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 01:49 AM EST
    "We need to take the kinds of steps that will broaden Internet access and
    protect the consumer privacy and security rights that are important to giving
    consumers confidence in using the Internet."

    These are the security problems M$ created for the most part. This tripe is such
    a joke!

    - Moosie.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    M$ menu policy vs. their own behaviour.
    Authored by: wabbit on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 02:58 AM EST
    I wish I could remember exactly when and where I discovered this, but perhaps
    the Open Source Paralegal Research Process (OSPRP???) can do its magic...

    I was involved with an ISP in the early days of the commercial Internet -- 1996
    or so. I was tasked with building a floppy-based auto-download system which
    logged into a dial pool to download Internet Exploder (Netscape was still
    insisting on charging for licencing of their browser).

    I used InstallShield for the UI, and some custom back-end C to do a zmodem
    download of the software. IIRC, in the IS documentation was detailed the
    Microsoft policy that stated something to the effect that all software was to be
    placed in a sub-folder of the main "Start" menu.

    It was very explicitly stated that *NO* software was to be placed directly in
    the Start menu, but was to be placed in a sub-folder.

    But... shortly after (or perhaps right then -- can't remember exactly)
    Microsoft produced software (including IE, Word, etc.) suddenly started to
    appear at the very top level of the Start Menu. Obviously, this meant that
    Microsoft's apps would be the first thing the user saw, and would thus have a
    greater chance of being clicked by said user.

    Perhaps other who have access to old version of the InstallShield documentation
    can dig this up. While subtle, I believed at the time that this was both
    dishonest, and very effective, at shifting the playing field.

    (P.S. I found InstallShield at the time to be a complete piece of garbage. I
    used it because "The Powers that Be that Shouldn't Be" purchased it
    without consultation as it was "Microsoft Recommended")

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 03:04 AM EST
    Does anyone have any ideas about how Novell can get around the statute of
    limitations problem?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Doesn't it make you feel all creepy when Microsoft says "Our Industry"?
    Authored by: cybervegan on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 05:14 AM EST
    Maybe it's just my cynicism, but it just makes me feel they think they *own* the
    industry. Maybe they feel they do...

    I'm glad to see that Nokia have made their opinion abundantly known, though.

    It also makes me wonder what Microsoft's true motivation was in this move: does
    it have more to do with aspirations to control key trade associations? Will we
    see them joining more lobbyist associations in the near future? Do they intend
    to try to make this into a Good Guys vs. Bad Guys crusade, with FOSS painted as
    the Bad Guys? Will they try to turn trade bodies and associations against

    This begs more questions than it answers, I think.


    Software source code is a bit like underwear - you only want to show it off in
    public if it's clean and tidy. Refusal could be due to embarrassment or shame...

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft, take a bit of your own medicine
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 06:18 AM EST
    Do I love this happening ?

    Basically, Novell is giving Microsoft a bit of its own

    Is it only a dream that companies will be left alone to play fair with all their
    might in the free market instead of becoming lobbying and litigation powerhouses

    Or is that a communistic idea ?

    Well, I have to reckon it's funny that Novell is finding a way to spend their
    newly acquired 500+ million.
    (and Novell's lawyers know they won't be out of cash anytime soon)
    Consider it a bonus for the lawyers that have been taking so much B.S. all this

    For Microsoft taking a bit of your own medicine now has a completely different

    For how long can you keep pouring billions of dollars around to put off
    litigation fire ?

    Doesn't this slow down Microsoft a bit ?
    What about patent cross-licensing between Microsoft and Novell ?
    Can Novell refuse to cross-license important technologies to Microsoft ?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    avoiding herd instinct
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 08:03 AM EST
    IMO this kind of legal action is bad for us all. Legalistic bullying behaviour from large companies like Novell (or Microsoft or IBM), if directed to smaller businesses would (rightly) be regarded as highly unsatisfactory or just plain wrong. Much earlier comment here on Groklaw has been to the effect that WordPerfect screwed up in the early 90s and just because some legal chancer in Novell has seen an opportunity to sue Microsoft on the off chance a broken legal system kicks up the big bucks does not mean supporters of FOSS should back this unpleasantness. Just because Microsoft is the target does not make wrong right. If SCO had attacked Microsoft instead of IBM (if they had not paid up the i-protection money) I hope the anti-SCO feeling would be equally strong.

    I wish people here would focus on the real issues: software patents, the "IP industry" and abuse of a legal system that does not properly reflect the needs of creators and users of the wonderful new possibilities and public benefits that low cost high performance computing brings to our cultures, instead providing a threat to well meaning people. And of course how to encourage benefits from the sea change that FOSS brings to all this.

    IMO Microsoft could indeed be a threat to resolution of these important issues but please don't lets spoil the relevance of this Groklaw forum by tiresome Microsoft bashing even in instances such as this latest Novell attempt where mischievious abuse of the law is the first thought that comes to mind of many of us. Keep focus on where Microsoft influence, statements and strategies are potentially dangerous. Plenty to do here!

    Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter. Mark 11:52

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    $500 million dollar war chest - Linux Army moving forward
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 08:40 AM EST
    I knew it. Novell now has a war chest that it OWNS, unlike SCO who used
    investors money. And they are using the money won from Microsoft against
    Microsoft. I hope this drags on as long as SCO is willing to go in it's cases.
    Novell is a Linux company. This is a fight between Linux and Microsoft, with the
    tables turned on Microsoft this time.

    And this may start out small and insignificant, but if SCO can drag on with
    their fight, Novell could do the same for different reasons, and against an
    enitity with a criminal record. Also, since the CCIA settled with Microsoft, the
    DOJ case is now final. So mabye due to the length of time it took for the DOJ to
    go from point A to B, the statute of limitations may not count in this case,
    because life has to move on.

    And, wouldn't this motivate Microsoft into possibly getting out the anti-Linux
    litigation that they were threatening. I think this action is the tip of the
    iceberg. No more words. All action now so we can all move on with life and
    settle all these IP matters once and for all and justice can shut up pansies
    like Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates

    And given the fight of Linux vs. Microsoft, this is very fitting for the
    situation. Yes, I am baised in favor of Novell and Linux, and against Microsoft
    and MS Windows. But not for monetary reasons. For virtue, moral, and ethical

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    As much as I dislike Microsoft
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 09:51 AM EST
    I'm not sure msft did anything wrong in this case. I suppose msft had a head
    start in creating windows apps, but I think that may have been just a natural
    competitive advantage, rather than some illegal monopolistic practise. I think
    msft may have a point about novell's mis-management.

    When windows 3.0 first came out, ms-dos apps were made obsolete overnight.
    win3.0 would only run on high-end PCs of the time. To effectively run 3.0 you
    need a 386, and 8MB of RAM, and about 120MB of HDD space. Few PC users had all
    that. Even those who used 3.0 usually ran dos apps as well.

    I think wordperfect did have time to catch up, but chose not to. I can't blame
    msft for that.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Statute of limitations
    Authored by: LarryVance on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 10:43 AM EST
    The statute of limitations of a civil case depends are the jurisdiction of the

    There is a legal process called tolling that suspends the clock ticking for the
    statute of limitations for certain particular circumstances. In the Novell
    filing it specifically addresses the issue of the statute of limitations and
    that the limit was tolled between some time 1998 up to some time in 2003 because
    of the ongoing legal entanglements. If that time is subtracted from the
    limitation time then there is no issue with having exceeded the statute.

    Another facet of this is that the anticompetitive action has not stopped. As we
    have seen of late with the specification of indemnification FUD.

    I still really believe that M$ should be broken into at least 2 operating

    Never underestimate your influence!
    Larry Vance

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Metadata in WordPerfect
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 11:13 AM EST
    I knew somebody who testified as an expert witness in a court case. There
    were some claims about when documents were produced on a computer.
    There were two problems with the documents:
    1. The date stamps all had a time that ended in zero seconds.
    2. The documents had been created with a default printer that did not exist
    (as in, manufacturer hadn't released it) at the time they were supposedly

    Metadata can be useful for verifying claims, especially if the person making
    the claims doesn't understand what metadata is stored.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 11:53 AM EST
    This is a great move for a Linux company as any OS is not worth a hill of beans
    without an Office Suite. While Sun only opted to protect StarOffice leaving OOo
    users/distributors on their own from any IP infringment lawsuits. Novell
    choosing to bring suit against M$ using an antitrust argument to reduce market
    share of WP. Therefore, M$ probably will not go after OOo because it will make
    them appear that they are maintaing their anticompetative behavior. So this is
    the only means Linux has to remain a viable OS ready for business and home use.
    This lawsuit indirectly benefits the further adoption of F/OSS.

    One From Under the Bridge

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • I concur - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 05:20 PM EST
      • I concur - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 06:19 PM EST
      • I concur - Authored by: LarryVance on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 08:43 PM EST
      • I concur - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 15 2004 @ 12:38 PM EST
    Novell chooses the right fight
    Authored by: Sunny Penguin on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 12:41 PM EST
    Everyone was wondering why Novell did not file suit against The SCO Group, I
    think Novell is taking the fight to the "man behind the curtain".
    If Microsoft continues to attack other companies assets through a proxy company,
    Microsoft will be itself open to direct (and indirect) attack.

    Just Say No to Caldera/SCO/USL/?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • hear hear!! (n/t) - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 03:53 PM EST
    aaahh - the marvels of the "free market"
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 02:21 PM EST
    Anti-tust laws, government interventions, monopolistic business practicess,
    Microsoft, Enron, GW Bush, Patriot Acts, etc, etc, etc, ...

    What happened to the illustrious "FREE" market?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I don't understand why M$ payed Novell on partial claims?..
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 03:18 PM EST
    Now Novell has a warchest to fight with (assumming that's their inclination)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What is the Novel quid pro quo??
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 03:38 PM EST
    For example, when they settled with sun, it involved "patent cross licensing" and, it seems, a common market strategy against linux and a chance for Microsoft to savage java further unrestrained.

    With Apple, when they settled, it seemed to be one where Apple accepts a minor place in the market who's role seemed to be principly to be someone Microsoft can point to and say "see, were not a monopoly"; a kind of pet competitor.

    With Caldera over the bones of dr-dos, it was to settle and expunge some "emberrasing" evidence that Caldera dug up in discovery.

    With the DOJ, well, the DOJ won the case and choose to settle anyway. What did the govt get, and does it relate to that ever mysterious NSA key or other related goodies?

    What did they get from Novell, and why did Chris Stone leave? The novell one makes the least sense of all to me unless there is something we are missing or don't (yet) know about.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Did CCIA fold or was it paid off
    Authored by: Night Flyer on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 05:00 PM EST
    Copied from: 'News Release: Some Q & A’s re CCIA / Microsoft Settlement;
    Computer & Communications Industry Association, November 8, 2004':

    "After fighting Microsoft so hard and for so long, how can CCIA reverse
    itself like this?

    Neither CCIA nor Microsoft is retracting or changing positions taken in the
    past. The decisions made are practical ones based on the status and prospects
    of the various proceedings and the opportunity to promote common industry
    objectives in the future."

    Just curious about the above statement by the CCIA.

    Did it appear to the CCIA that Microsoft would stall until the CCIA ran out of
    management will or money... or was it convinced it could not beat Microsoft on
    the merits of its position and recover costs... or were there favours offered or
    promised for the CCIA to withdraw?

    Usually I am skeptical about conspiracy theories, but the plethora of reports of
    actions done by Microsoft over the last 10 years or so have made me believe that
    there are, in fact, conspiracies between large organizations that are working
    against a proper, competitive and open market for software.

    Veritas Vincit: Truth Conquers.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I say Microsoft settles
    Authored by: kberrien on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 05:07 PM EST
    Given MS's recent court activity, they settle.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell Files Suit Against Microsoft over WordPerfect
    Authored by: eric76 on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 05:28 PM EST

    Consider paragraph 83 on page 39 of the complaint:

    83. In addition to withholding technical information, Microsoft created and controlled new "industry" standards and established unjustified certification requirements to deny the release of Novell's applications and to impair their performance for Novell's customers.

    Perhaps Microsoft intends to do this to Open Source software through their Sender ID.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Software developers only!
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 05:36 PM EST
    Points 56 to 111 of Novells complaint are technical in nature so I'd appreciate
    comments only from those who understand the technicalities, especially software
    developers from that era like myself who can speak from personal knowledge.

    1. If these claims were upheld, would they equally apply to all ISVs operating
    through the period in question? It seems to me that if they were true and
    regarded as pertinant by the courts (and I'm not saying they are or are not),
    any of us delayed to market or settling for reduced functionality etc. etc.
    would equally be able to claim against MS?

    2. Can you pick at least one of the 56 points you think may be valid or invalid?
    For instance:

    80. This could be a valid complaint if there were these APIs as stated. I don't
    recall hearing of these before and am now curious. We had the standard Clipboard
    API functions from the year dot and the OLE 2 versions (eg for deferred
    rendering) all openly documented but MS using hidden ones seems possibly below
    the belt - anybody any idea what these APIs are and what they did that stopped
    WordPerfect integrating functionality? [Although as a software developer, the
    idea that the cost of rebuilding full clipboard functionality was an issue for a
    product valued at $1.3 billion makes me smile!]

    81. claims that Microsoft mislead saying Windows 95 would be exclusively 32 bit.
    This sounds to be totally off the mark - at the time Windows NT was the 32 bit
    offering (and even it had a pretty full 16 bit Windows subsystem.). Windows 95
    was originally targetted to be Windows 4.0 release Q3 1994 (as I recall, have
    not yet searched the loft!) and was always an evolution of 3.1 using the
    original Windows 16 bit base and supporting Win16 applications.

    At risk of repeating, I'm interested in specific technical comments not

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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