Google: Oracle altered Java Android code evidence

In a filing responding to Oracle's most recent claims about Android, Google said its opponent had 'redacted or deleted' significant elements of the code it presented as evidence of copying

Oracle altered evidence that purports to show Google copied Java code in Android, Google has claimed in its response to allegations made by the database giant.

In a filing on Thursday, Google also accused Oracle of extracting licence fees for intellectual property it did not own, and said that the Dalvik virtual machine used in Android "was created independently and without reference" to the Java code Oracle claims has been unlawfully copied.

"Google... denies that the document attached to Oracle's Amended Complaint as Exhibit J contains a true and correct copy of a class file from either Android or 'Oracle America's Java'," the filing read. "Google states further that Oracle has redacted or deleted from the materials shown in Exhibit J both expressive material and copyright headers that appear in the actual materials, which are significant elements and features of the files in question."

Oracle submitted Exhibit J on 28 October when it updated an earlier lawsuit, filed against Google in August, to say that the open-source Android mobile operating system infringed on class libraries and documentation owned by Oracle. "Approximately one third of Android's application [programming] interface (API) packages are derivative of Oracle America's copyrighted Java API packages and corresponding documents," Oracle said at the time.

In Thursday's filing, Google said that each of Oracle's patents mentioned in the suit was invalid "because one or more claims are directed to abstract ideas or other non-statutory subject matter". Google also reiterated its earlier standpoint that the patents were invalid because the methods they described had already been in use prior to the patents being granted.

However, Google also added new defences on Thursday: that Oracle's claims should be barred by US law because Android is used by the Department of Defence and other government agencies; that Oracle had delayed launching the suit for so long "that it was reasonable to infer that Oracle did not intend to enforce its copyrights"; and that any use of patented technology in Android was put into the platform by other members of the 78-company-strong Open Handset Alliance "without the knowledge of Google".

In a Groklaw blogpost about Google's multiple new defences — which also include a de minimus defence that any infringements would have been too minor to matter — patent law expert Pamela Jones pointed out that "you can use contradictory alternative defenses, just in case".

Jones also highlighted Google's claim that "Oracle and its predecessor Sun have attempted to impermissibly expand the scope of the Patents-in-Suit by requiring licensees to licence items not covered by Oracle's alleged intellectual property in order to receive a licence to Oracle's alleged intellectual property".

"Wouldn't it be ironic if Oracle's patents ended up on the junk heap?" Jones asked. "Clearly that is Google's intention... You can take this amended answer two ways — that it's Google angling for a better settlement or that it's Google looking to win the whole enchilada and free up Java for everyone. That last is why I think Oracle might consider settling.

"If it started all this because of drooling over money from big, rich Google — a common affliction, I've noticed — then realising it might have to sue the Open Handset Alliance or one of its members or even some individual programmer out there somewhere, well, it's not as appealing a thought," she added.