Microsoft, Novell Settle One Suit; Novell Pledges Another

Novell, whose Netware operating system and WordPerfect business software compete with Microsoft's products, said it agreed to pull out of the European case against Microsoft. The Computer and Communications Industry Association, which has fought Microsoft on several legal fronts in recent years, did not disclose the amount of its payment from Microsoft.

But Novell said it intends to file its own federal antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in Utah this week, alleging that Microsoft acted illegally during the 1990s when Microsoft's Office business software products eclipsed Novell's.

"We have had extensive discussions with Microsoft to resolve our differences, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to agree on acceptable terms," said Joseph A. LaSala, Jr., Novell's general counsel. "We intend to pursue our claims aggressively toward a goal of recovering fair and considerable value for the harm caused to Novell's business."

The WordPerfect lawsuit will seek unspecified damages and will be based partly on facts proven in court during the U.S. government's antitrust case against Microsoft, LaSala said. The Novell case will focus on alleged harm to WordPerfect word processing and Quattro Pro spreadsheet programs.

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