Novell/Microsoft Court Case Finishes Final Argument Stage

The business world is certainly a much different place than the ordinary, personal world. If I was to sue one of my neighbors for damaging my property for example, you probably wouldn’t see me going golfing with them the same time such a court process was going on, nor would you see me lending them another tool.

Of course, things run a little different when it comes to multi-billion dollar companies. The court case between Microsoft and Novell has been going on since November 2004, and despite all of the heat involved in such a trail, it seems that they have still collaborated in other areas even as the trail waged on.

For example, in the later part of 2010, Novell announced it was going to sell some of its intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings, a consortium organized directly by Microsoft. We don’t know exactly what was involved there, but we know they were willing to pay up to $450 million for the technologies involved.

The deal did run into it’s fair amount of issues though, but it had nothing to do with Novell’s relationship to Microsoft. Instead the US Department of Justice just involved.

It just seems odd that a company can sue another for big dollars (like Samsung/Apple) and yet still have a strong working relationship. I guess it was probably put best in the Godfather, “Its not personal, it’s just business”.

The actual lawsuit that is going on is the long-standing issue behind WordPerfect. According to Novell, Microsoft purposely withheld critical Win95 technical information that made it difficult to create a version of WordPerfect that was probably compatible with Win95.

Obviously, Microsoft has on more than one occasion fully denied such a claim.

Novell has just acquired WordPerfect in 1994, and in 1996 they were forced to sell it for a fraction of what they paid due to its lack of popularity.

I know it’s too late to change anything, but for my two cents it seems like Novell gave up rather quickly on the technology. Windows 95 came out in late 1994, and to already throw in the towel completely by 1996, seems a little premature I personally think.

Do I think that there is any merit to the claim that Microsoft used vicious tactics to keep WordPerfect behind. I certainly do. Microsoft has been known to play it a little vicious and have often used deceptive practices in the past.

Are they directly illegal practices or just harsh business? That would depend on your definition and beliefs, I suppose.

Similar rumors of practices like Microsoft using Office-support for Mac as a blackmail tactic to get patent infrigment claims by Apple dropped (regarding Windows) have often surfaced over the years. Are there truth to any such claims? I certainly don’t know and wasn’t there.

It does seem that Microsft has used strong-arm tactics in the past, though.

How this case ends up, we shall see. The closing-argument stage of the affair is finally over, and so now we will soon see if Novell’s claims hold any water.

What do you think about the lawsuit? Is there any merit to Novell’s claim? Share your thoughts below.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...