Microsoft-Novell antitrust case ends in hung jury

The verdict may bring the seven-year-old case to its conclusion

After a two-month trial, Novell's US$1.3 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft ended on Friday in a hung jury, according to a spokesman for Microsoft who was at the court.

"It is confirmed that the jury could not come to an accord and that no length of further deliberation would alter that," said the spokesman, who is with one of Microsoft's public relations agencies.

The jury had been deliberating for almost three days after closing arguments were presented earlier this week.

Microsoft and The Attachmate Group, which is the parent company of Novell, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The jury had asked for clarification on several points during deliberations, including questions about the definition of "middleware." The terminology apparently caused some confusion. At one point, the jury asked whether Windows 95 was considered "an operating system or middleware," court filings show.

Novell filed its antitrust lawsuit seven years ago, claiming Microsoft abused its dominant position in the PC OS market to harm Novell's desktop applications business.

Novell accused Microsoft of misleading it about certain technical details prior to the release of Windows 95, to the detriment of Novell's WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and other applications. Microsoft's behavior ran afoul of U.S. antitrust laws, according to Novell, which was seeking approximately $1.3 billion in damages.

Last month, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates took the stand and denied his company had acted in a way to deliberately harm Novell. The changes to Windows 95 were required to make the OS stable, he told the jury. Novell could have produced more compatible versions of its software but acted too slowly, Gates said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftlegalnovellantitrust

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?