SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court is throwing out Novell Inc.'s complaint that Microsoft Corp. undermined the WordPerfect writing program in favor of Microsoft's own Word program with the Windows 95 rollout.

The Denver-based 10th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Novell has no viable claims left after the Utah company lost an eight-week trial against Microsoft in Salt Lake City two years ago.

The case was so important to Microsoft that it put co-founder Bill Gates on the stand for two days, saying he had no idea a last-minute decision to drop a tool for outside developers would sidetrack Novell.

Novell says the decision cost it time and market share, and that it was forced to sell WordPerfect for a $1.2 billion loss.

The 10th Circuit ruled that Novell's complaint came too late and it failed to make the larger case that Microsoft was protecting a monopoly on operating systems.

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