Microsoft-Novell ends in mistrial after jury fails to reach verdict

It has been a long trial that has included testimony by Bill Gates but it the battle is not over yet with a judge issuing a mistrial in the case. The Seattle Times states the judge declared a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision. As such, the litigation for Microsoft is not over.

The following statement was issued by Microsoft after the dismissal:

"We are disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a verdict. However, we very much appreciate their service throughout the trial, and we remain confident that Novell's claims here do not have merit, and look forward to the next steps in the process."

As we have reported before, the jury was trying to determine the fate of a lawsuit filed several years ago by Novell. Novell claimed that Microsoft deliberately delayed the release of Windows 95 in order "to suppress the sales of WordPerfect and Novell's related office productivity applications." Even though Novell sold off WordPerfect and its Quattro Pro application to Corel back in 1996, Novell was asking the court to award them between $500 million to $1.2 billion in its lawsuit against Microsoft.

The lawsuit went to trial in mid-October and in November, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates himself testified in the case for two days. Gates and Microsoft's attorneys have claimed that Microsoft feared that Novell's WordPerfect might crash Windows 95. 

[Update] The story was initially stated to be dismissed but has since been corrected to state it was a mistrial. 

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