Jurors Deadlocked In $1 Billion Microsoft Antitrust Lawsuit

Today, Friday, a Federal Jury has failed to reach a verdict in a Utah company’s $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.

Novell Inc. sued the software giant in 2004, claiming Microsoft duped it into developing the once-popular WordPerfect writing program for Windows 95 only to pull the plug so Microsoft could gain market share with its own product.

Novell says it was later forced to sell WordPerfect for a $1.2 billion loss.

The two month trial came to a close with jurors telling U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz they were deadlocked this evening. The 12 jurors told the judge they were “hopelessly” deadlocked, and they later told lawyers a single holdout refused to vote in Novell’s favor.

“He had strongly held views about the technical evidence and refused to budge,” Novell attorney Jeffrey Johnson said. Jurors offered no comment after the trial.

Novell plan to try again and retry the case with a new jury.

Novell’s lawsuit is the last major private antitrust case to follow the settlement of a federal antitrust enforcement action against Microsoft more than eight years ago.