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Sun settles Java spat with Kodak for $92m

Doesn't admit or deny patent problems

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Kodak and Sun Microsystems have settled their Java battle out of court to the tune of $92m.

Kodak last week won the first round of its legal confrontation with Sun over disputed software patents when a jury sided with the imaging specialist. Kodak planned to seek more than $1bn in damages from Sun. The companies, however, settled the matter one day before a New York was set to examine damages in the case. Sun did not admit any wrongdoing in the deal.

"We are eager to put this punitive litigation behind us, to have reached a decision in the best interest of our stockholders, customers and employees, and to focus our future activities on the evolution of the Internet and Sun's place within it," said Sun's President Jonathan Schwartz.

Kodak's patents were acquired when it purchased Wang Laboratories back in 1997 and covered a broad swath of software calls. Sun has disputed that Kodak's patents were relevant to Java - a software platform it invented. The companies apparently filed papers with the court announcing the settlement, but the documents have yet to be unsealed. Sun, however, did say that it will receive a license from Kodak covering any disputed patents for its one-time payment.

Many technophiles have charged that Kodak's claims are far too broad and could spell trouble for the software industry. ®

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