Lawsuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits

CobraBoy (
Thu, 25 Jul 1996 10:52:30 -0700

sEATTLE, July 24 (Reuter) - A company backed by Novell
Inc. founder Ray Noorda said Wednesday it filed an
lawsuit against Microsoft Corp., resurrecting
charges raised in a
lengthy federal probe of the software giant.
Caldera Inc., a computer software developer
mostly owned
by the retired Novell chief executive, filed the
lawsuit in federal
district court in Salt Lake City, Utah, seeking
injuctions and
damages that could top $1 billion.
According to the Provo, Utah-based company's
Microsoft's "predatory acts and practices" have shut out
competitive products including DR DOS, an operating
Caldera bought for an undisclosed amount from Novell on
Tuesday, the same day the lawsuit was filed.
A Microsoft spokesman said the company saw no
merit in
the lawsuit, based partly on an antitrust complaint
brought by
the Department of Justice in 1994 that the Redmond,
Wash.-based company settled without admitting
"We haven't seen the complaint yet, but based on
the press
release this appears to be just a rehash of tired
old allegations
that are without merit," Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray
Wall Street largely ignored the lawsuit, and
Microsoft rose
$2.625 to close at $114.75 in Nasdaq trading.
The lawsuit represents the latest attack against
Microsoft by
Noorda, 72, a legendary computer industry executive who
appeared to become obsessed by the growing dominance
of his
rival after two failed attempts to merge with it.
"It's kind of a theme that Ray can't get out of
his head," said
Jesse Berst, executive editor of industry newsletter
Watcher. "He likes suing Microsoft so much that
he'll even buy
a company for the purpose of suing Microsoft again."
Caldera executives denied they bought DR DOS for the
express purpose of filing the lawsuit. Novell took
DR DOS off
the market after Noorda's retirement in 1994, saying
the product
had not made significant inroads against Microsoft's
market-leading MS-DOS.
Caldera Chief Executive Officer Bryan Sparks said the
company plans to reintroduce DR DOS this year for
sale in retail
stores and to computer manufacturers.
But Stephen Susman, a Houston lawyer for Caldera,
acknowledged there was a personal element to the
"I've never seen a plaintiff who files a lawsuit
that ain't
mad," Susman said.
Based on the estimated $2 billion in profits
generated from MS-DOS from 1991 to 1995, damages easily
could top $1 billion when tripled, since analysts
estimate DR
DOS could have won about 20 percent of operating system


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