Monday, October 04, 2004

KODAK/SUN WHOPPER - Eastman Kodak Co. will return to U.S. District Court next week to seek $1 billion in damages from Sun Microsystems Inc. now that a federal jury has ruled in its favor in a dispute over the Java computer language.

The jury decided in Rochester on Friday that Sun infringed on technology belonging to Kodak when it developed and introduced Java more than a decade ago. The computer language is now used heavily by software developers, on the Internet and in computer schools.

Kodak in pre-trial documents indicated it would ask for $1.06 billion in lump-sum royalties – a figure that represents half of Sun's operating profit from the sales of computer servers and storage equipment between January 1998 and June 2001. The argument: Java provides the engine for such computer equipment. Sun executives have publicly estimated that Java is a "key factor in 90 percent of Sun's sales," Kodak said.

-- Groklaw has a rather lengthy (dare I say "long-winded") discussion about this case, along with a large number of rants against software patents. Some are even calling for a boycott on Kodak products, because they chose to enforce their patents . . . .

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