Yahoo Inc. has asked a U.S. judge to dismiss a lawsuit attacking the Internet icon for cooperating with China’s communist government, arguing the case is a meritless attempt to meddle in another country’s legal affairs.

The 40-page brief filed Aug. 27 in Oakland represented Yahoo’s first formal response to a 4-month-old lawsuit filed on behalf of two Chinese journalists serving 10-year prison sentences for engaging in pro-democracy efforts that the country’s authorities deemed subversive.