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Sun Sues Microsoft Over Java Again

Sun Microsystems Inc. filed a private lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. seeking damages and penalties for what the company claims Microsoft did to its Java-based business by abusing monopoly power.

Encouraged by the U.S. Court of Appeals 2001 ruling that Microsoft abused an operating system monopoly, Sun filed the lawsuit late last week in federal court in California.

"This private antitrust lawsuit is intended to restore competition in the marketplace by removing unlawful barriers to the distribution of the Java platform and to interoperability between Microsoft software and competitive technologies," Michael Morris, Sun's general counsel, said in a statement.

Sun's lawsuit resumes legal action over Java that Sun initiated against Microsoft in October 1997. Sun and Microsoft reached a settlement in January 2001, but Sun's new complaint resurrects the issue and a raft of new ones.

Sun is asking the courts to force Microsoft to:

  • Distribute Sun's current binary implementation of the Java plug-in as part of Windows XP and Internet Explorer
  • Stop distribution of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine through separate downloads
  • Disclose and license proprietary interfaces, protocols and formats
  • Unbundle Internet Explorer, Internet Information Services and the .NET Framework.

    Sun joins AOL subsidiary Netscape and the makers of BE OS as companies that have piggybacked the Appeals Court ruling to sue Microsoft.

    Sun's lawsuit may be found here.

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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