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Novell settles piracy suit

The company says it has recovered unauthorized copies of its NetWare product, a market value of nearly $14 million, in a settlement with Comptek.

Novell said today that it has recovered unauthorized copies of its NetWare product, a market value of nearly $14 million, in a settlement with a Southern California-based company.

Both parties agreed to a settlement that includes Comptek turning over unauthorized copies, as well as a cash sum, to Novell. The deal also includes transferring ownership of computer equipment from Comptek to Novell.

Novell said the copies of its NetWare are valued at about $13.8 million.

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, against reseller Comptek and its owner, Steve Angelica, alleged that Comptek sold unauthorized copies of NetWare and used the Novell and NetWare trademarks in violation of Novell's rights.

"We are very pleased with the settlement reached in this case," David Bradford, senior vice president and general counsel for Novell, said in a statement. "Novell has proven over and over that we will go to great lengths to protect our authorized distribution channel and assist them in competing on a level playing field."

Last week, Novell filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey man, alleging that he made and/or distributed a counterfeit version of NetWare and violated the company's trademarks. Novell became aware of the problem when a call was received on its piracy hotline.

While traditional forms of piracy, such as the previous examples, remain a major problem for companies, Internet software piracy could surpass traditional forms as Internet use continues to increase, a Business Software Alliance (BSA) spokesperson said earlier this month.

Novell, a member of the BSA and the Software Publishers Association, said it investigates more than 500 cases worldwide each year.