The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a Microsoft appeal to an antitrust case that dates back to Novell's desktop PC software business in the mid-1990s.
The move leaves standing a lower court ruling that says Novell can sue Microsoft under federal antitrust laws. Novell argued that Microsoft used its monopoly power to sink Novell's QuattroPro spreadsheet and WordPerfect word processor.
The court had no comment and Chief Justice John Roberts abstained because he is a Microsoft shareholder, according to the Associated Press.
"Microsoft specifically targeted WordPerfect and Novell's other office productivity applications because they threatened Microsoft's Windows monopoly," according to the Novell court filing quoted by the Bloomberg news service.
In its case, Novell also said that Microsoft withheld technical information to make WordPerfect work with Windows 95.
In its appeal, Microsoft argued that federal antitrust laws don't apply to the case because Novell does not compete in operating systems.