Sun Microsystems Seeks to Bar Microsoft from Unauthorized Use of "Java Compatible" Logo
Independent Testing Consultants Confirm Microsoft Fails Compatibility Tests
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- November 18, 1997 -- Sun Microsystems Inc. today formally asked a United States District Court to bar Microsoft Corporation from using Sun's Java™ Compatible Logo to promote and distribute its Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products because the Java technology has been improperly modified by Microsoft and fails to pass Sun's compatibility tests.
"We take very seriously our stewardship of this remarkable technology, which includes keeping the promise of cross-platform compatibility that our logo stands for," said Michael H. Morris, Sun's Vice President/ General Counsel. "Today's filing signals that we will act to protect both that technology and the trademark."
"With this motion today we are making a simple demand: because these Microsoft products do not pass Sun's compatibility tests and are not compatible with Sun's published standards for the Java technology -- Microsoft must be stopped from using the Java Compatible Logo to deceive the marketplace," Morris said.
Sun's filing, made in the San Jose Division of the U.S. District Court's Northern California District, was part of its response to counterclaims Microsoft made to Sun's legal action on October 7. Sun's suit claims that Microsoft, in deliberate violation of a licensing agreement, is attempting to break the cross platform compatibility made possible by the Java technology and deliver a version of the technology that works only with Microsoft's products.
The Java Compatible Logo appears in various locations in and on Microsoft's consumer packaging and promotional materials. Until recently, it also appeared at various times on Microsoft's Website. It has since been removed from the Website.
"It's like buying a can of Coca-Cola and finding ginger ale inside," Morris said. "The customer trusted the brand and was deceived."
"A significant part of the value of the Java technology depends on the acceptance by the public of the promise that Sun will stand behind that technology and do everything possible to enable the products with the Java Compatible Logo to be capable of delivering `Write Once, Run Anywhere™' performance," Morris said. "Independent experts have now confirmed that Microsoft's products fail Sun's compatibility tests and thus do not satisfy the conditions for the use of our logo."
Two independent technical experts, Dr. L. Peter Deutsch and Alan Hankinson, today confirmed that Microsoft's IE 4.0 failed to pass the Sun Java compatibility test suite. The independent testing directed by Dr. Deutsch and performed by KeyLabs of Provo, Utah, and then again repeated by Dr. Deutsch, resulted in equivalent outcomes. These outcomes mirror those achieved by Sun in its early October testing that led up to the original filing. More information on the independent testing can be found in the Declarations filed today by Sun in U.S. District Court in San Jose.
"Nowhere is the sanctity of a trademark more important than in the field of computer software," Morris said. "Our customers rely on the reputation and the goodwill of that trademark to make informed, efficient decisions about the technology they are using."
In its filing, Sun details modifications Microsoft made to the Java technology in Internet Explorer 4.0 and its software development kit, modifications that render Microsoft's products incompatible with every other product that conforms to Sun's standards.
Also in its filing Sun quoted from an article by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in the November 10, 1997, edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Gates wrote, "Without a uniform Windows installation, end users could not be sure of the performance of the integrated operating system, and Microsoft could not stand behind its product. Furthermore, Windows would become Balkanized, like the many incompatible versions of UNIX®. This would eventually drive prices for PC products higher as software developers and hardware manufacturers would have to develop and test their products for all the different versions of Windows. And innovation would slow because developers would be reluctant to write new programs if they couldn't be sure that new features would work on all Windows PCs."
"We couldn't have said it better -- except that we're talking about the Java platform," said Morris. "By tampering with Sun's Java technology, Microsoft wants to put Sun in the very same predicament it wants to avoid for Windows. Microsoft is seeking to neutralize the very real competitive threat Sun's Java technology poses to Windows."
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer™," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc., (NASDAQ: SUNW), to its position as a leading provider of hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $8.5 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.
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