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Sun Microsystems has filed a private antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft alleging that its anticompetitive behaviour has harmed the development of Java.

In the suit, Sun is seeking damages of more than $1 billion and a "permanent injunction requiring Microsoft to disclose and license proprietary interfaces, protocols, and formats and to unbundle tied products, such as Internet Explorer, IIS web server, and the .Net framework".

More immediately, it wants the courts to compel Microsoft to distribute Sun's current binary implementation of the Java plug-in as part of Windows XP and Internet Explorer; and stop distribution of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine through separate downloads.

Sun is accusing Microsoft of fragmenting the Java platform and flooding the market with incompatible Java Runtime Environments. For extras, there's also a charge that Redmond violated Sun's copyright in distributing of an unlicensed implementation of the Java Runtime Environment.

Michael Morris, senior vice president and general counsel at Sun, said in a statement that the "lawsuit is intended to restore competition in the marketplace by removing unlawful barriers to the distribution of the Java platform and to interoperability between Microsoft software and competitive technologies". ®

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