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You are right, copy & paste (including Paste Special) does not copy the cell with its background. Workaround : use the Clone Formatting tool (Standard toolbar):

  • select the "source" cell (not the content): e.g. select 2 cells then "return" on the first
  • Click the Clone Formatting tool
  • Click the "target" cell

There are ongoing discussions and work for the development of styles for tables in Writer. This would be real good solution.

HTH - Regards