Contingencies

On October 7, 1997, Sun Microsystems, Inc. ("Sun") brought suit against Microsoft in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Sun's 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.

On March 24, 1998, the Court entered an order enjoining Microsoft from using the Java Compatibility logo on Internet Explorer 4.0 and the Microsoft Software Developers Kit (SDK) for Java 2.0. Microsoft has taken steps to fully comply with the order. On November 17, 1998, the Court entered an order granting Sun's request for a preliminary injunction, holding that Sun had established a likelihood of success on its copyright infringement claims, because Microsoft's use of Sun's technology in its products was beyond the scope of the parties' license agreement. The Court ordered Microsoft to make certain changes in its products that include Sun's Java technology and to make certain changes in its Java software development tools. The Court also enjoined Microsoft from entering into any licensing agreements that were conditioned on exclusive use of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine. Microsoft appealed that ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 16, 1998.

On August 23, 1999 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the November 1998 preliminary injunction and remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings. Sun immediately filed two motions to reinstate and expand the scope of the earlier injunction on the basis of copyright infringement and unfair competition. On January 25, 2000, the Court issued rulings on the two motions, denying Sun's motion to reinstate the preliminary injunction on the basis of copyright infringement and granting, in part, Sun's motion to reinstate the preliminary injunction based on unfair competition. Microsoft is in compliance with the terms of the partially reinstated preliminary injunction and will not need to undertake any further action to comply with the terms of the injunction. No other hearing or trial dates have been set.

The parties have filed multiple summary judgment motions on the interpretation of the Agreement and on Sun's copyright and trademark infringement claims. On February 25, 2000, the Court entered an order denying both parties' motions for summary judgment as to whether the Agreement authorizes Microsoft to distribute independently developed Java Technology. On April 5, 2000, the Trial Court entered an order denying Sun's motion for summary judgment regarding the interpretation of Section 2.7(a), which sets forth certain requirements that Sun must meet when they deliver Java Technology to Microsoft. On May 9, 2000, the Court entered an order granting Microsoft's motion to dismiss Sun's copyright infringement claim and on May 25, 2000, the Court issued a tentative order granting Microsoft's motion to dismiss Sun's claim that it is entitled to liquidated damages based on the alleged improper posting of its source code by Microsoft. The Court has indicated its intention to set a hearing on the remaining motions in September 2000.

On May 18, 1998, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a group of state Attorneys General filed two antitrust cases against Microsoft in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The DOJ complaint alleges violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. The DOJ complaint seeks declaratory relief as to the violations it asserts and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief regarding: the inclusion of Internet browsing software (or other software products) as part of Windows; the terms of agreements regarding non-Microsoft Internet browsing software (or other software products); taking or threatening "action adverse" in consequence of a person's failure to license or distribute Microsoft Internet browsing software (or other software product) or distributing competing products or cooperating with the government; and restrictions on the screens, boot-up sequence, or functions of Microsoft's operating system products. The state Attorneys General allege largely the same claims and various pendent state claims. The states seek declaratory relief and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief similar to that sought by the DOJ, together with statutory penalties under the state law claims. The foregoing description is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the complaints and other papers on file in those actions, case numbers 98-1232 and 98-1233. 

Source: Microsoft_2000 Annual Report