RICHMOND, Va. — Two remaining antitrust claims brought against Microsoft Corp. by Novell Inc. can proceed, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz of Baltimore dismissing four of Novell's six claims but keeping the other two alive.

Novell alleges Microsoft used its monopoly power to limit sales of WordPerfect, a word-processing program, and Quattro Pro, a spreadsheet program.

The appellate court agreed with the lower court that the four claims that were dismissed were filed after the statute of limitations expired.

The other two claims are not subject to the same deadline because they were based on anti-competitive conduct alleged in a Department of Justice complaint, the appeals court said.

Novell alleges Microsoft unlawfully "obtained and maintained its monopoly power in the Intel-compatible operating systems market by engaging in anti-competitive conduct." Novell also charges Microsoft engaged in exclusionary agreements with manufacturers that amounted to unreasonable restraint of trade.

Novell, which sold WordPerfect and Quattro Pro to Corel in 1996, previously reached a $536 million settlement with Microsoft on antitrust claims involving its NetWare operating system.