Supreme Court Denies Microsoft Bid To Block Novell Lawsuit

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Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian said the ruling allows Novell to continue on with the process, which he said looks headed for a trial. "Obviously we always like to solve things through business means," he said. "But we will use litigation if we deem it necessary."

Hovsepian said despite the ongoing litigation, as the company's relationship with Microsoft evolved and improved, the suit is not likely to be a stumbling block for the current business partnership. In November 2006, Microsoft and Novell announced a partnership which made it easier for users to run both SUSE Linux and Microsoft's Windows on their computers. "We have a much closer working relationship now, and building on any good relationship, you have to be honest with your partner," he said, referring to Waltham, Mass.-based Novell's position in the lawsuit.

He said this case represents an example of two partners considering a situation from two different vantage points. "It doesn't affect the business side of our relationship," he said. "It's full steam ahead, and we'll let this issue work itself out on the side."

Microsoft released a statement in the wake of the decision, reasserting the facts will disprove Novell's claims that Microsoft purposefully prevented WordPerfect from interoperating with Windows 95. Novell filed the lawsuit in 2004. Chief Justice John Roberts, who owns stock in Microsoft, was recused from the case

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"We realize the Supreme Court reviews a small percentage of cases each year, but we filed our petition because it offered an opportunity to address the question of who may assert antitrust claims," the statement read. "We look forward to addressing this and other substantive matters in the case before the trial court."