Sun and Microsoft Settle Java-Related Lawsuit

Microsoft Corporation has agreed to settle Sun's lawsuit regarding Java technology. As part of the agreement, Microsoft has agreed to pay Sun $20 million, to accept Sun's termination of the prior license agreement, and to a permanent injunction against unauthorized use of Sun's JAVA COMPATIBLE trademark.

To protect those developers using Microsoft's outdated implementation of Sun's technology, Sun has licensed Microsoft to distribute its existing versions, provided that all future versions of such products conform to and pass Sun's compatibility tests.

"It's pretty simple: This is a victory for our licensees and consumers," notes Sun's Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy. "The community wants one Java technology: one brand, one process and one great platform. We've accomplished that, and this agreement further protects the authenticity and value of Sun's Java technology."

Introduced just six years ago, the Java technology is now licensed by 200 companies and used by 2.5 million developers. It is the fastest growing application platform in history, and now runs on everything from the smallest cell phones to the largest enterprise servers. Sun's Java technology has been called a defacto platform for e-business solutions.

The lawsuit's roots lie in Microsoft's licensing of the Java technology in 1996. Sun claimed that Microsoft abused the licensing agreement by distributing incompatible implementations, so that applications written to those implementations would run only on Windows. Sun, therefore, terminated the agreement.

With the contract terminated, Sun and Microsoft have agreed to end the current litigation.

Sun has agreed to grant Microsoft a limited license to continue shipping implementations of the 1.1.4 version of the Java technology. Those products have already been modified to comply with injunctions secured by Sun in the litigation. The license covers only the products that already contain the Java technology, and lasts only for seven years.