Microsoft, Novell Negotiating WordPerfect Settlement?
Attorneys for Microsoft and Novell apparently are trying to negotiate a settlement to address Novell’s $1 billion lawsuit against Microsoft. The negotiations started after Novell’s case against Microsoft ended in a mistrial/hung jury. The big question: Will Microsoft write a big settlement check to Novell, or will Novell seek a retrial?
Novell’s $1 billion lawsuit against Microsoft alleged that Microsoft used anti-competitive behavior with Windows 95 to destroy WordPerfect, which Novell owned in the mid-1990s. But one juror in the case believed their was not enough evidence to support Novell’s claims against Microsoft, according to the Inquirer — a tech website in London.
The Novell-Microsoft case could have big implications for Attachmate, which acquired Novell earlier this year. Attachmate has organized Novell’s products into three organizations — SUSE (Linux), Novell (GroupWise and Open Enterprise Service and ZenWorks) and NetIQ (systems management). In theory, Attachmate could use potential Microsoft settlement money to help fuel R&D in those divisions — though there’s no guarantee Novell and Microsoft will reach a settlement.
Meanwhile, The VAR Guy may have misread the tea leaves with this case. Our resident blogger originally believed Microsoft would win the case outright because Novell so poorly managed the WordPerfect acquisition and related software launches. But 11 of the 12 jurors in the case sided with Novell, a potential implication that Microsoft had a weaker hand than The VAR Guy had originally believed.