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WordPerfect trial ends with deadlocked jury

Salt Lake City – A federal jury on Friday failed to reach a verdict in a Utah company’s $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. in a case so important to the computer giant that it put Bill Gates on the stand for two days last month.

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 trial began two months ago with jurors getting the case on Wednesday. After much confusion, and some perplexing questions from the panel, they told U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz they were deadlocked by early Friday evening.

The jurors later told lawyers a single holdout refused to vote in Novell’s favor.

Novell was left with little to show for a decade of effort, but the company said it will seek to retry the case with a new jury.

Associated Press

Russia finally gains entry into WTO

Geneva – After nearly two decades of trying, Russia gained approval Friday to join the World Trade Organization, a move likely to boost its economy and that of its biggest trading partner, the European Union, at a time of global financial turmoil.

Russia, the sixth largest economy in the world with a population of 143 million, has been the only member of the Group of 20 leading world economies still outside the 153-nation WTO.

Once it formally joins – presumably early next year after ratification from the Russian Duma – Moscow will be subject to the Geneva-based body’s rules for global trade and settling disputes, a change likely to give more confidence to investors outside the country.

Associated Press

Cameron to pay BP over Gulf oil spill

New Orleans – Cameron International, maker of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer that failed to stop last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has agreed to pay $250 million to BP under a legal settlement, BP said Friday.

BP said it was “in their mutual best interests, and the agreement is not an admission of liability by either party.” The companies are dropping all claims against one another, they said.

The settlement comes in advance of a federal trial over the catastrophic Gulf oil spill. The non-jury trial is slated to begin in February to determine fault in the April 20, 2010, explosion and subsequent oil spill off the Louisiana coast of more than 200 million gallons of oil.

Associated Press


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