Saturday, November 13, 2004

Microsoft Statement on Novell’s WordPerfect Legal Action

Microsoft Statement on Novell’s WordPerfect Legal Action "Prior to Novell’s purchase of WordPerfect in 1994, WordPerfect had already begun to decline. Indeed, Novell’s stock dropped 15 percent the day after it announced the acquisition. WordPerfect deliberately chose not to develop a version for early versions of Windows® in the hope that depriving Windows of a key application would limit the success of Windows. This and other missteps led to a decline in WordPerfect popularity that resulted in Novell selling it for approximately one-eighth of what was paid for it only 20 months earlier.
There are other fundamental flaws in Novell’s complaint. Given that Novell hasn’t owned WordPerfect for eight years, their claims should be barred by the legal doctrine called the Statute of Limitations.
It is also surprising that Novell seeks to use the Court’s findings in the Department of Justice case against Microsoft. That case had nothing to do with WordPerfect or any other office productivity software, and focused almost exclusively on other markets and technologies. In fact, Novell was barely mentioned during the U.S. antitrust trial. Moreover, the U.S. antitrust laws do not support Novell’s claims that a company is required to share its inventions and trade secrets with its competitors."
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