November 4, 1998 9:10 PM PST

Judge presses on in Java case

Judge Ronald Whyte has decided to press forward in a federal case contesting Microsoft's use of its license to Sun Microsystems' Java programming language.

By Friday afternoon, the two companies are to release edited materials supporting each side's stance on Sun's motions for a preliminary injunction, according to a Sun spokeswoman. In May, Sun asked a U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, to require Microsoft to include "compatible Java" in Windows 98, on grounds of copyright violation and also unfair competition.

Sun contends Microsoft's version of Java does not meet contractually defined standards, in an intentional effort to wrest control of Java from Sun. Microsoft denies the allegation.

Judge Whyte has said he See related story:
Microsoft's holy war on Java wants the edited, or redacted, documents released before he rules in the case, which he deems a contractual matter. Though they have been reviewed by a special master, both parties had asked the judge to withhold certain documents, Microsoft citing "financial information" and Sun objecting to the criteria used to decide which documents should be released.

The documents to be released comprise depositions, emails, and other internal evidence such as sales presentations, according to Sun. They were assembled as attachments and exhibits to Sun's two motions for an injunction, Microsoft's replies to the motions, and Sun's followup replies.

Sun will likely deliver its documents tomorrow, the spokeswoman said.

In evidence released last month, documents revealed that Microsoft tried to "kill cross-platform Java" by growing the "polluted Java market," while a Sun manager acknowledged that "Microsoft was smarter than us when we did the contract."

Sun sued Microsoft in October 1997 for breach of contract, alleging that Microsoft's Java implementation failed to pass compatibility tests required in its licensing agreement.


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