Microsoft Corporation won a stunning victory Friday when a federal jury in Connecticut ruled that the software giant did not violate U.S. or state antitrust law in a case brought against it by Bristol Technology, Inc. And in a stunning slap in the face to the small New England company, the jury ordered Microsoft to pay $1 (yes, you read that right: one DOLLAR) in damages. The message was clear: The case was frivolous: don't even try to appeal.
"Microsoft is extremely grateful to the jury and extremely pleased by today's outcome. This decision represents an important victory for the entire software industry by upholding the rights of companies that develop intellectual property to license their technology in a fair and equitable manner," Microsoft said in a statement delivered late Friday. "As the jury's decision indicates, the record clearly shows that Microsoft offered to license its technology to Bristol under fair and competitive terms. Indeed, Bristol's major competitor, Mainsoft Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., licensed this same technology under the same terms that Bristol rejected, and Mainsoft testified that Microsoft's terms were completely reasonable."
The case centered on Wind/U software, an early type of multi-user add-on for Windows NT. Bristol was attempting to license Windows NT and felt that Microsoft's terms were predatory.
"This is a complete victory for Microsoft," said David Tulchin, a Microsoft lawyer