Microsoft Wins Latest Java Skirmish

A federal judge has sided with Microsoft Corp.
in the latest round of its ongoing Java license dispute with Sun Microsystems Inc.


U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte agreed to
Microsoft’s request for summary judgment, effectively
dismissing Sun’s copyright claims.


The decision comes after an April decision in which Whyte rejected select
portions of Sun’s interpretation of the license with
Microsoft for its Java technology.


In a statement on the judgement, Sun compared the ruling to two
orders handed down by Whyte last January in which he refused to grant the
infrastructure firm “preliminary injunctive relief” on the grounds of
copyright infringement and unfair competition.


In a battle that has tugged back and forth in each heavyweight’s favor,
those rulings followed a 1998 ruling in which Whyte issued a preliminary
injunction barring Microsoft from using Java in its products on the basis
the Microsoft was violating intellectual property copyright regulations.

An appeals court later overturned the preliminary injunction. Whyte
reinstated the preliminary injunction using California’s unfair
competition law, rather than the copyright claim.


Sun sued Microsoft in October 1997, alleging the maker of Windows violated
its contract with Sun for developing and deploying products using the Java
programming language and also Sun’s Java copyright.


Java lets software developers create programs that will run on virtually any
operating system, such as Windows or Unix.


The ruling came after Sun shipped its Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition
version 1.3, a fast and secure foundation for building enterprise
applications. J2SE technology v 1.3 is touted for its speedy performance and
high functionality that is desired by Web users. With the inclusion of the
Java HotSpot Client VM, this is the fastest release of the Java platform to
date.

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