Microsoft Statement Regarding Sun Lawsuit.
Excerpt from SEC Form 10-Q for Quarter Ended 3/31/98.
On October 7, 1997, Sun Microsystems, Inc. brought suit against Microsoft in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. On October 14,1997, Sun filed a First Amended Complaint (Complaint). The Complaint alleges several claims against Microsoft, all related to the parties' relationship under a March 11, 1996 Technology License and Distribution Agreement (Agreement) concerning certain Java programming language technology. The Complaint alleges: statutory and contractual trademark claims related to Microsoft's alleged improper use of the Java Compatibility logo; a false advertising claim related to statements Microsoft allegedly has made about its Java support and products; a claim that Microsoft has breached the Agreement in several respects; a claim that Microsoft allegedly made Sun's source code generally available to the public; a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; a claim for unfair competition; a claim for intentional interference with contractual relations between Sun and its customers or prospective customers;and a claim that Microsoft induced software developers to breach their license agreements with Sun. The Complaint seeks: a preliminary and permanent injunction against Microsoft distributing certain products with the Java Compatibility logo, and against distributing Internet Explorer 4.0 unless certain alleged obligations are met; an order compelling Microsoft to perform certain alleged obligations; an accounting; termination of the Agreement; and an award of damages, including compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages, and liquidated damages of $35 million for the alleged source code disclosure.
On October 27, 1997, Microsoft filed its Answer, Affirmative Defenses, and Counterclaims (Answer). In its Answer, Microsoft denies Sun's claims, and denies that Sun is entitled to any relief. Microsoft alleges that Sun agreed to limit its remedies for all claims such as those alleged in the Complaint to compensatory damages capped by the total license fees paid ($17.5 million over the life of the Agreement). Microsoft specifically denies that Sun is entitled to any injunctive relief. Although the Agreement does provide for liquidated damages of $35 million if Microsoft makes Sun's Source Code generally available to the public under certain conditions, Microsoft denies that there is any basis for such a claim. Microsoft asserts other defenses to each of Sun's claims. In addition, Microsoft alleges counterclaims against Sun, including claims that:Sun has breached the Agreement in many respects; Microsoft is entitled to a court order that Microsoft may terminate Sun's license under the Agreement to certain Microsoft technology and otherwise determining the parties' rights and responsibilities; Sun has breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and Sun has violated California's unfair competition statute. Microsoft also alleges that it has put Sun on notice of other breaches of contract and that Microsoft will seek to amend its counterclaim to state additional claims if those breaches are not timely cured. Microsoft seeks a declaratory judgment consistent with its claims and seeks compensatory damages consistent with the limitations in the Agreement.
On November 17, 1997, Sun filed a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin Microsoft from using the Java compatibility logo on IE 4.0 during the pendency of the litigation on the basis that IE 4.0 does not pass certain Java compatibility tests. A hearing on this motion was held on February 27, 1998. At the hearing, the court set September 4,1998 as the date on which the court will hear all motions relating to the interpretation of the parties' agreement. On March 24, 1998, the court entered an order granting Sun's motion and enjoining Microsoft from using the Java Compatibility Logo on Internet Explorer 4.0 and Microsoft Software Developers Kit for Java 2.0. Microsoft has taken steps to fully comply with the order. On May 12, 1998, Sun filed companion motions seeking a preliminary injunction based on allegations of copyright infringement and unfair competition. Sun requested an order enjoining Microsoft from distributing any Java Technology in any operating system, browser, or developers tools, including Windows 98, IE 4.0and JV++ 6.0, unless and until Microsoft includes with each such product an implementation of the Java runtime environment that passes Sun's compatibility test suite or an operable implementation of Sun's current Java runtime environment. Sun also filed a motion to amend its complaint to include a claim of copyright infringement. The new allegation alleges that Microsoft has infringed Sun's copyrights in the Java Technology because it has used the technology outside of the scope of the license agreement. The hearing for these motions is set for July 31, 1998. The parties are engaged in ongoing discovery in anticipation of the July 31 and September 4 hearings.