Novell has accused the owner of a Salt Lake City distributor of defamation, the latest shot in a long-running battle between the two companies over alleged copyright infringement.
In June 1995, Novell began a lawsuit against Mark Bondiett, owner of hardware and software distiributor Network Trade Center, accusing him of buying old copies of Netware and using them to get authorised distributors to give him upgrades. He then allegedly sold the upgrades to Netware licensees, who were not eligible to buy upgrades because they had not bought the original licences.
In response Bondiett filed an $834 million counterclaim accusing Novell of antitrust violations and anti-competitive practices.
At the end of December, Novell made its latest move in the dispute, accusing Bondiett and two associates - former NTC employee Gregory Barry and attorney Timothy Wllardson - of defamation, through a series of press releases.
In one of the releases, NTC presents its row with Novell in terms of David and Goliath, while in another Bondiett alleges that Novell manipulates prices to hurt resellers it does not like. Novell?s defamation suit says that the company has been damaged by such comments. "The statements tend to discredit it by lowering Novell in the estimation of the community and of its present and potential shareholders and investors," it reads.
For NTC, Willardson said the company stood by its claims and said Novell had issued the suit in an attempt to intimidate his client.
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