Novell has gone to federal court to quash a subpoena it was served by Sun Microsystems Inc. in that firm's legal battle with Microsoft Corp.

Sun is suing Microsoft in federal court in San Jose, Calif., over the use of the Java programming language in Microsoft's Windows 98 operating system. Sun, which developed Java, has accused Microsoft of adulterating the language for Windows applications.On Tuesday, Utah-based Novell filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City to block Sun's subpoena of Novell documents and other information pertaining to the Java dispute.

Noting that it considers Sun a rival in a "fiercely competitive" industry, Novell called the subpoena a "sweeping and vexatiously overbroad request for information that is highly sensitive and confidential."

Novell also said the subpoena violates court orders governing discovery in the battle between the software giants.