Novell suit accuses firm of piracy on eBay

A Texas company allegedly offered pirated versions of Novell's NetWare product on the popular auction site.

Novell said today it had filed a lawsuit against a Texas computer firm, accusing the company of offering pirated versions of Novell's NetWare software on the auction site eBay.

The lawsuit accuses MTZ Computers of Copperas Cove, Texas and its owner, Pete Martinez, of copyright and trademark infringement.

Novell said it discovered the offer through routine monitoring of auction sites. Investigators made a test purchase and received a counterfeit diskette containing the software, Novell said.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

"Novell regularly monitors online auction sites in an effort to discourage exactly this type of practice," said David Bradford, senior vice president and general counsel for Novell, in a statement. "We will track down illegal activity, and we will file lawsuits, where appropriate, in order to protect our sales channel and to preserve the good name of Novell."

Novell said it investigated over 1,300 cases worldwide in fiscal 1998. More than $11 billion each year is lost to software piracy, according to the Business Software Alliance and the Software Publisher's Association.