Federal court rules Microsoft didn’t break antitrust laws

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DENVER — A federal appeals court has sided with Microsoft in a long-running legal battle with Provo-based Novell.

In a ruling handed down Monday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Microsoft did not violate antitrust laws.

“Novell complains that Microsoft refused to share its intellectual property with rivals after first promising to do so. But theantitrust laws rarely impose on firms — even dominant firms — a duty to deal with their rivals. With respect to Novell at least, Microsoft did nothing unlawful,” the opinion read.

Novell sued Microsoft in 2004 alleging the company withheld code for Windows 95 to give its own Office suite an advantage over Novell’s WordPerfect software, costing it market share. Microsoft denied the allegations.

A 2011 trial included testimony from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and ended in a hung jury, with the judge ultimately siding with Microsoft. Novell appealed the decision to the 10th Circuit Court.