Even hold-out juror believed Microsoft acted unfairly

But disagreement over harm to Novell caused hung jury in antitrust lawsuit


A fuller picture is emerging of exactly how close Microsoft came on Friday to losing its interminable antitrust tussle with Novell, a defeat that could have cost the company up to $1.3 billion.

Not only was there a hung jury, but the hang-up was with a lone juror, and - perhaps most remarkable of all - that lone juror's stand was over a single point of contention.

Groklaw explains:

The one holdout juror, Corbyn Alvey, in the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust trial over WordPerfect and Quattro Pro has now spoken. And it's extraordinary. In an interview by KSL-TV, he says that he was convinced that Microsoft was guilty of anticompetitive behavior. His doubt was whether Novell was damaged by it, so he voted no on the marketplace issue, but yes on the allegation of anticompetitive behavior.

The end result was the hung jury announced on Friday.

In the KSL-TV video, Alvey, a security guard, speaks of the trial testimony by Microsoft founder Bill Gates: "I would never accuse the man of lying; it's been 17 years, he could have forgotten. But it just seems to me that his testimony wasn't matching up to emails he had written in '93, '94 and '95."

That seems to me an extraordinarily polite way of saying - even though he doesn't want to say it - that he thinks Gates was lying.

The 21-year-old Alvey, who according to his Facebook page studied criminal justice at Eagle Gate College, told a Utah newspaper, the Deseret News, that he feels he "... made the right decision even if it resulted in a hung jury."

Novell says it will seek a new trial.

Microsoft yesterday filed paperwork to head off that possibility by having the case dismissed, according to this story from the IDG News Service that posted to our site this morning.   

Of that anticipated dismissal request, Groklaw says, "... the judge has been very favorable to Microsoft throughout, so that would seem to be Microsoft's best hope."

We know for certain that Alvey won't be on the next jury.

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