Sun Microsystems, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

87 F. Supp. 2d 992 (2000)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California
87 F. Supp. 2d 992 (2000)

Facts

In 1996, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun) (plaintiff) and Microsoft Corp. (defendant) entered into a Technology Licensing and Distribution Agreement (TLDA). Pursuant to the TLDA, Sun granted Microsoft a license to make derivative works of Sun’s Java programming language, termed “Java technology” in the TLDA, for the purpose of developing supporting products. The TLDA also placed compatibility obligations upon Microsoft, requiring that any commercial product developed by Microsoft under the TLDA would comprise only a compatible implementation that passed Sun’s Java Language Test Suite. Later, however, Microsoft began developing intentional (strategic) incompatibilities into its licensed Java products. First, Microsoft developed unauthorized extensions to the java.* class library, which ensured that applications created with Microsoft’s Java development tools were tied to Microsoft’s virtual machine and to its Windows operating system. Second, Microsoft refused to implement Sun’s JNI native method interface into its Java runtime or development-tools products, including its Java Virtual Machine Implementations, and instead created its own native method interfaces, including what it called its RNI and J/Direct native method interfaces. Microsoft, according to Sun, then flooded the market with its incompatible products, which caused developers to write applications solely for Microsoft operating systems, as opposed to applications for all virtual machines, effectively preventing the developers from using Sun’s JNI method interface. Sun sued Microsoft in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, accusing Microsoft of unfair competition under California law. Sun also filed a motion for preliminary injunction, requesting that the district court enjoin Microsoft from, among other things, continuing to sell or distribute operating systems and software-development tools that contained the Java technology unless they supported Sun’s JNI native method interface in a manner that passed the Java Language Test Suite.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Whyte, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 735,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership