A U.S. District Court judge has ruled in favor of Microsoft, marking the end of a long-running antitrust case Novell had filed against the software giant.
Novell filed suit in 2004 in Utah, accusing Microsoft of violating U.S. antitrust laws in relation to the WordPerfect program. A jury trial that began in October last year was meant to resolve a remaining issue of whether Microsoft delayed releasing Windows 95 to keep Novell’s WordPerfect and Quattro Pro programs from gaining in the market, thus causing harm to Novell. (Bill Gates, by the way, testified at the trial last November.)
That trial resulted in a hung jury — and subsequent declaration of a mistrial by the judge — in December.
Microsoft subsequently asked Judge J. Frederick Motz of the U.S. District Court of the District of Utah for a Judgment as a Matter of Law. Judge Motz granted the motion and issued his decision in favor of Microsoft today.
Microsoft issued a statement, saying: “We’ve maintained throughout this case that Novell’s arguments lack merit, and we’re gratified with today’s ruling dismissing the last of Novell’s claims and putting this matter to rest.”
[Update 1:34 p.m.: Novell issued this statement: “While Novell is disappointed with Judge Frederick Motz’s ruling, Novell still believes in the strength of its claim and we do intend to pursue an appeal.”]