Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

Summary: Oracle is asking that Google be held 'liable for infringement of the patents and copyrights' related to its employment of the Java platform. Here's a link to the complete text of the lawsuit.

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TOPICS: Google, Oracle
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The Java language and supporting Java platform (Java Enterprise Edition, Java Standard Edition, Java Mobile Edition) have been the backbone of many Web-enabled and service-oriented enterprise systems for well over a decade. Sun Microsystems was the custodian of all things Java, a role that shifted to Oracle Corporation once it acquired Sun.

Now, as detailed by ZDNet colleague Sam Diaz, Oracle has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, stating that Google has violated Oracle's patents associated with the Java platform technology within the Google Android mobile stack.

The complete text of the the lawsuit is now posted at the Sribd site. Here is the core of Oracle's complaint:

"On information and belief, Google has purposefully, actively, and voluntarily distributed Android and related applications, devices, platforms, and services with the expectation that they will be purchased, used, or licensed by consumers in the Northern District of California.

"Android has been and continues to be purchased, used, and licensed by consumers in the Northern District of California. Google has thus committed acts of patent infringement within the State of California and, particularly, within the Northern District of California. By purposefully and voluntarily distributing one or more of its infringing products and services, Google has injured Oracle America and is thus liable to Oracle America for infringement of the patents at issue in this litigation pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 271."

Oracle is asking that Google be held "liable for infringement of the patents and copyrights" related to its employment of Java, that Google cease and desist from use of Java in Android, and that unspecified damages be awarded to Oracle for the infringement.  Oracle is also demanding a jury trial.

At the time this post was written, Google had yet to issue a statement about the lawsuit.

As Sam noted, Google says it activates about 200,000 Android-powered devices daily. So you know there's going to be megabucks involved. And it may be one of the biggest patent battles ever seen in this industry.

Topics: Google, Oracle

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10 comments
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  • So now we know how Oracle is going to make $$ off Java

    Litigation!

    But Java is open source, <i>how can this be</i>. Because you have all been fooled by Sun. Java JRE and JDK have been open sourced, <b>but the specification was never "open"</b>.

    Java's spec is still very much closed - not even governed by a recognized standards body. If it had been laid out to ISO or ECMA with a proper patent protection (like MS did with C#) this would not be possible.

    But it wasn't, so it is.
    honeymonster
    • RE: Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

      @honeymonster
      Oracle should have sued M$ over IP not Google who is using GPLed code.
      Linux Geek
    • RE: Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

      @honeymonster right and wrong. There's no RFC for the TCK, but, for a long time, OpenJDK *has* been open and is therefore the reference. It is, after all, GPL'ed, so the typical (and smart) thing to do is to fork OpenJDK. I have no idea why Google didn't just do that.

      Also, to make things bizarre, just because C# has Mono doesn't at all mean that Mono isn't patent encumbered. In fact, the very reason Mono hasn't been taken up are specific concerns about patents (unless you happen to be Novell). It's the inverse of the Java problem in that, sure, there's a specification, but there's certainty as to whether or not its patent encumbered.

      On the other hand, at least OpenJDK is under the GPL.
      THUFIR.HAWAT
  • RE: Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

    Another reason to use Python.
    ssj6akshat
  • RE: Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

    Open source is a mostly copyright governed license, separate from patent law.
    But this could definitely result in a big slowdown of innovation and increases in price on Android and other Java devices.

    Definitely bad for the world. And this is definitely betrayal, I hope it will come back and byte Oracle in the ass:
    "It was part of Oracle's and Sun's communication strategy to tell community leaders that the deal was good in the community's interest because Sun owned so many patents that others (in some cases suggesting Microsoft although they never made a bid for Sun) might be able to use against free and open source software. They said that Oracle was a reasonable patent holder and wouldn't harm open source."
    From: http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/08/oracle-sues-google-says-android.html
    EDBzdnet
    • bad

      @EDBzdnet
      how is having a free ride on the accomplishments of others as google had with android (copying apple, stealing oracle's IP) good for the world?
      banned from zdnet
      • RE: Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

        @banned from zdnet much as I "side" with Oracle in this, I think it's a bit extreme to say that Google stole IP (can you steal IP?), nevermind that the jury's still out on that.
        THUFIR.HAWAT
  • Not very important

    Surely not many people are still using such a clumsy, complicated programming language based on out-dated 1960s techniques like object orientation?
    jorwell
  • RE: Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms

    It is a little delayed but I stumbled upon your blog post and thought you might find this recent report written on the case interesting. It is a different perspective and discusses the strength and visibility around the patent's in the case.
    http://patentlyobvious.m-cam.com/blog/?p=172
    Patently067
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