Novell Inc.’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. over the WordPerfect computer program ended in a mistrial after jurors said they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Novell sought as much as $1.3 billion in damages over allegations that Microsoft, while developing the Windows 95 operating system in 1994, blocked an element of the software to thwart Novell’s WordPerfect and Quattro Pro programs.
Which haven’t been Novell’s programs since 1996; they were dealt to Corel, which still sells them.
Unsurprisingly, this suit is rather well-traveled:
This case … began in Utah District Court, was moved from Utah to Maryland, was appealed by Novell to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which reversed and remanded for trial, with the case sent back to Utah, with the Maryland District Court judge commuting there to resume handling the trial.
And I chuckled a bit at this excerpt from the Findings of Fact in a previous case:
Through its conduct toward Netscape, IBM, Compaq, Intel, and others, Microsoft has demonstrated that it will use its prodigious market power and immense profits to harm any firm that insists on pursuing initiatives that could intensify competition against one of Microsoft’s core products. Microsoft’s past success in hurting such companies and stifling innovation deters investment in technologies and businesses that exhibit the potential to threaten Microsoft. The ultimate result is that some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft’s self-interest.
One imagines some paralegal typing this in while listening to his Zune.
In other news, apparently Novell is still in existence, kinda sorta.