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Jury deadlocked; Judge dismisses $1B Microsoft lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A jury declared themselves deadlocked and a judge dismissed a $1 billion federal case between a Utah-based word processing company and Microsoft.
Bill Gates testifies in federal court (Scott Snow Sketch)
Bill Gates testifies in federal court (Scott Snow Sketch)
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A jury declared themselves deadlocked and a judge dismissed a $1 billion federal case between a Utah-based word processing company and Microsoft on Friday.

Novell claims Microsoft misled them by requesting upgrades to WordPerfect to make it more compatible to Windows 95, while planning to use their own word processor in the meantime.

The launch of Windows 95 was delayed, and when it did come out, it included Microsoft Word instead of WordPerfect.

Windows 95 and Microsoft Word went on to become the most popular operating system and word processing software in the world, while Novell's WordPerfect faded into relative obscurity. Novell later sold WordPerfect at a $1.2 billion loss.

Novell also claimed that Microsoft's move from WordPerfect to its own Word product violated federal antitrust laws because the end result was a cornering of the market for word processing software.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates testified during the trial, which began in October.

The jury had been deliberating for more than two days, but could not reach a verdict.

Some members of the jury appeared emotionally drained when the judge made his declaration.

Some of them could be seen wiping away tears as the judge announced that any further deliberations would yield no decision in the case.

Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for more on this story.

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