Monday, October 15, 2007

Fourth Circuit affirms rulings in Novell v. Microsoft anti-trust case

In the case of Novell v. Microsoft, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Shedd, joined by Judge Duncan, affirmed the trial court rulings granting dismissal of some but not all of Novell's anti-trust claims in MDL litigation against Microsoft.

The two claims that were not dismissed related to operating systems; the other claims, held to be time-barred, related to word processing and spreadsheet software programs.

The Court overruled Microsoft's argument that Novell lacked standing for anti-trust remedies related to operating systems, while observing: "We do not view our decision with respect to Novell as unduly expanding the universe of private antitrust plaintiffs." I guess that remains to be seen, although perhaps what the ruling on standing giveth, the statute of limitations takes away for the losers in the computer business of the 1990s. On limitations, the Court held that Novell's claims were not tolled by the government anti-trust actions brought against Microsoft by the U.S. Department of Justice and other governments.

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