Microsoft won an important legal victory on Friday, when a US federal jury ruled that it had not violated antitrust laws in its dealing with Bristol Technology.
The case was the smallest of three such suits filed against the software giant, one by the US Justice Department and the other by Caldera Software, which sells the DR-Dos rival to Microsoft's MS-Dos operating system (OS).
But the eight member jury, which returned its verdict after the third day of deliberations, did find that Microsoft had committed deceptive practices against Bristol in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, and awarded the company the derisory sum of $1 as a result.
Bristol said it was disappointed and surprised by the verdict and would now explore its options, but Microsoft was jubilant.
Tom Burt, the company's associate general counsel, said: "As the jury's decision indicates, the record clearly shows that Microsoft offered to license its technology to Bristol under fair and competitive terms."
He continued: "Indeed, Bristol's major competitor, Mainsoft of Sunnyvale, California, licensed this same technology under the same terms that Bristol rejected, and Mainsoft testified that Microsoft's terms were completely reasonable."
Bristol filed suit against the software giant last August, alleging that it illegally prevented it from obtaining source code to its Windows 2000 OS, which Bristol needed to develop its Windows on Unix emulation software.
The firm had asked for damages of between $131 million to $263 million and access to the source code.
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