Microsoft Corporation has won a temporary victory in its court battle with Sun Microsystems, which had sued the software giant for offering a version of Java that included Windows-specific improvements. The ruling, offered up by the United States Federal Appeals Court on Monday, overturns an order that had forced Microsoft to eliminate its version of Java in products such as Windows 98, Internet Explorer, and Visual Studio. The injunction was handed down against Microsoft last November.
The appeals court did partially side with the judge, noting that Sun will probably eventually win the case because it appears that Microsoft violated its Java licensing agreement. It ruled to overturn the injunction because the violation is a copyright infringement, rather than a breach of contract, and Sun cannot prove that it was harmed by the action. The ruling allows Sun to sue for damages after the fact, however.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Whyte is still considering the case. He has asked the two sides to consider a settlement in the past