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Action to fight Novell patent ruling

Action Technologies will appeal a ruling that its patent, infringed upon by Novell's GroupWise software, is invalid.

Action Technologies said today it will appeal a U.S. District Court's ruling that found one of its patent invalid after the company claimed Novell's GroupWise software infringed on that patent.

Last December, the court ruled that the patent was covered and infringed by Groupwise. Novell then filed for patent invalidity, and the court ruled in favor of Novell last week, said Action spokeswoman Sumi Shohara.

Action's 603 patent, issued to Action on June 1, 1993, covers a "method and apparatus for structuring and managing human communications by explicitly defining the types of communications permitted between participants."

Throughout the case, Novell has said Action's patent is for public domain technology, which would make it invalid.

"They have a patent, and what they say we violate, the Internet violates. Products from just about every company violate their patent, based on their broad criteria. If we are violating it, then sue the world. You can't patent public technology," Novell spokeswoman Kristin Schultz told CNET's NEWS.COM in December.