U.S. District Court Judge Grants Sun Microsystems Preliminary Injunction in Java™ Technology Case Against Microsoft
Microsoft Barred From Using Java Compatible™ Logo on Internet Explorer 4.0
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA., March 24, 1998 -- A U.S. District Court judge today granted Sun Microsystems Inc.'s request for a preliminary injunction that prevents Microsoft from using Sun's Java Compatible™ logo to promote and distribute its Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products.
Sun sued Microsoft in U.S. District Court on Oct. 7, 1997, alleging that Microsoft has improperly modified the Java technology incorporated in Internet Explorer 4.0 and is infringing Sun's trademark by distributing Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products using the Java Compatible Logo.
In granting the injunction, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte, ruled that Sun was likely to prevail on the merits of the trademark claims. In his ruling, Judge Whyte said that Microsoft's interpretation of the licensing agreement between the two companies "would essentially allow Microsoft to destroy the cross-platform compatibility of the Java programming environment. Sun has demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of establishing consumer confusion," said Judge Whyte, to entitle it to a "presumption of irreparable harm."
Judge Whyte in his ruling said Sun has not approved Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products, and "therefore, Microsoft's use of the Java Compatible logo falsely implies that its software products implement the Java Technology in a manner approved by Sun."
Judge Whyte has barred Microsoft from using directly or indirectly Sun's Java Compatible trademark in connection with the advertising, distribution, sale or promotion of the products "unless and until each such product first passes the Sun test suite accompanying the most current version of the Java technology incorporated in such product."
The judge also ordered Microsoft to remove the disputed products from commercial sales channels, or to remove or sufficiently sticker, cover or obscure the Java Compatible trademark on those products. He also ordered Microsoft to remove any similar uses of the Java Compatible trademark on Microsoft web sites.
Michael H. Morris, Sun's Vice President/General Counsel, said today that Sun was gratified by the judge's ruling. "This is good news for consumers, for software developers, and for our customers and licensees," Morris said. "As a result of today's ruling Microsoft will no longer be able to use Sun's Java Compatible logo in a confusing and misleading way. We are eager to take our case to trial and look forward to a prompt resolution."
Morris said that the case was brought against Microsoft to protect Sun's ability to identify and preserve the value of the Java technology. "This is about a trademark, and our insistence that products labeled as 'Java Compatible' satisfy Sun's requirements for use of its logo," Morris said.
More information on the court case, as well as the judge's ruling, will be posted on the Internet at http://java.sun.com/aboutJava/info.
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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