Sun-Microsoft Contract Released
October 15, 1997
Sun Microsystems Inc.'s lawsuit against Microsoft's use of the Java[tm] technology has received widespread attention. This action has aroused considerable interest from the media, the industry and the public in the contracts Microsoft signed with Sun to develop and distribute products incorporating Sun's Java technology and to use the Java Compatible Logo[tm].
When the contracts were signed in March, 1996, both parties agreed to keep the documents confidential, which is why they were filed with the court under seal. We are pleased to announce today that both parties have agreed to release the documents to the public. We are making available here today both the complaint and the contracts at http://java.sun.com/announcement/.
We believe the contracts will speak for themselves. Our position on Microsoft's breaches of the contracts and other misconduct have been clearly articulated in the complaint. Because this matter is in litigation, we will refrain from publicly debating specific terms of the contracts.
It is worth, however, revisiting the business model Sun has developed in openly licensing the Java technology to 117 entities worldwide. We have contracted with each of our licensees to act as distributors of the Java Technology so that each licensee can realize the benefits of cross-platform compatibility with all other licensees.
In order to achieve our goal in which software applications written using the Java environment can "run anywhere," it is critical that each implementation remain compatible with the interfaces defined in a collaborative industry process led by Sun. That compatibility is confirmed through the compatibility test suite provided by Sun, which all 117 licensees are required to pass.
The Java Compatible logo signifies that a licensee's product which incorporates the Java Technology has passed Sun's compatibility test suite.
The purpose of our contracts with Microsoft is clear: to secure and maintain Microsoft's compatibility with each of our other 116 distributors. The purpose of our lawsuit is also clear: to enforce Microsoft's obligation to maintain its compatibility with all our licensees and the Java developer community.
Separately, on Tuesday, October 14, Sun filed an amended complaint. It is that amended complaint that is posted to the web site today. The amendment includes Sun's claim for damages as a result of Microsoft's unlawful distribution of Sun source code as a part of the beta version of Microsoft's Software Development Kit for Java. Sun is seeking damages in the amount of $35,000,000 for this breach by Microsoft.