Sun Microsystems Inc is shelling out $92 million in corporate loose change to Eastman Kodak to draw a line under the photographic giant’s Java intellectual property case.
A New York state court last week awarded Kodak victory in its case against Sun, over alleged violation of Kodak-owned patents used in the java programming language.
Following the court’s decision, Kodak said it was seeking $1 billion in damages from Sun. However the ruling also raised the question of whether Kodak would seek to follow-up the intellectual property (IP) ruling by charging royalties on patents used in Java.
The case centered on three patents bought by Kodak from Wang Laboratories in 1997, shortly after Java’s creation by Sun. The patents covered integration of data between object managers, between data managers and integration of different programs manipulating different types of data.
Sun is neither admitting nor denying Kodak’s allegations, but said the settlement eliminates any uncertainty that could result from a protracted lawsuit and appeal.
In a statement, Sun president Jonathan Schwartz said the safety of the Java and other open communities in which the company participates are of paramount concern. We have reached a decision in the best interest of our stockholders, customers and employees, Schwartz said.
To put yesterday’s settlement in perspective, Microsoft Corp’s legal settlement with Sun in April was priced at $1.6 billion while Sun currently had cash reserves of more than $2 billion on its balance sheet as of June.