Microsoft loses key battle in Java dispute (1998)
San Mateo (January 2, 1998) -- While its fight with the U.S. Department of Justice rages on, Microsoft Corp. has lost a key battle in its other high-profile legal battle, with Sun Microsystems Inc., over Microsoft's use and implementation of the Java programming language.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte has scheduled a Feb. 27 hearing on Sun's request for a preliminary injunction to stop Microsoft from using its "Java Compatible" logo until the case is decided.
Whyte rejected Microsoft's request to postpone the trademark infringement hearing until the end of June.
Sun filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in October, claiming that the Redmond, Washington, software giant has built its own, proprietary version of Java in an attempt to sabotage the technology's "write once, run anywhere" potential. Many Microsoft officials view Java as a threat to the company's Windows operating system.
Sun's lawsuit said that Internet Explorer 4.0 is not fully compatible with Java Development Kit 1.1, because it does not support Java Native Interface and Remote Method Invocation. Sun has also accused Microsoft of altering Java class libraries in a way that could limit Java's promised cross-platform benefits, among other contract violations.
Microsoft, which answered Sun's lawsuit with a countersuit, claims that Explorer 4.0 offers the most competitive implementation of Java.