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Sun Loses Pretrial Ruling

May 31, 2000|Bloomberg News

A federal judge tentatively denied Sun Microsystems Inc.'s claim for $35 million in damages as part of the company's breach-of-contract dispute with Microsoft Corp. The pretrial ruling by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose was issued Thursday. At issue was whether Microsoft should pay Sun after releasing a small portion of Sun's Java programming source code on Microsoft's Web site. The code was made temporarily available in test releases of Microsoft's Software Development Kit for Java 2.0. Microsoft and Sun, a leading maker of workstation computers, have been embroiled in a fight over a 1996 agreement that gave Microsoft the right to license Java from Sun. Whyte is expected to set a trial date for the case Aug. 11, Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said. Microsoft says the release was unintentional and was the result of an automated copying process performed by lower-level employees. Whyte invited both parties to make further arguments in support of their claims. Representatives of Palo Alto-based Sun couldn't be reached for comment. Microsoft closed up $1.94 at $63.38, and Sun rose $6.75 to close at $80, both on Nasdaq.

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