Four counts of Novell's anti-trust case against Microsoft have been thrown out by a US judge.
In a ruling late Friday, Judge Frederick Motz said he would not allow allegations about Microsoft's monopolies in the word processing and spreadsheet application markets, saying those allegations were never asserted in the US Department of Justice's (DoJ) anti-trust case against Microsoft.
Novell case is based on the DoJ's, which ended with a judge-approved settlement in November 2002.
However Judge Motz denied Microsoft's motion to dismiss two counts in Novell's lawsuit, which claim Microsoft illegally damaged its efforts to market the WordPerfect word processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application.
And he let stand two counts alleging Microsoft illegally used its monopoly in the operating system market and on exclusionary agreements with OEMs.
Novell filed the WordPerfect-related anti-trust case in November 2004, within days of settling with Microsoft for anti-trust claims related to Novell's NetWare network operating system product. Microsoft agreed to pay Novell $536 million in that settlement.
Microsoft argued in its motion to dismiss that Novell doesn't have a legitimate claim to damages related to WordPerfect because Novell has sold the rights to the package. But Motz rejected that argument.
Novell merged with WordPerfect in June 1994. In a related transaction at the same time, Novell purchased Quattro Pro, a spreadsheet product, from Borland. 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 eventually sold to Corel in March 1996 for approximately $170 million.
Microsoft also argued that Novell's claims aren't legitimate because its office productivity packages did not compete in the operating system market, where the government's case proved a Microsoft monopoly. But Motz suggested that Microsoft knew of the effect its operating system monopoly had on other software products.
The lawsuit will move forward at a later date.
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