Oracle V’s Google Android – The Case Goes on (and on)
August 3, 2011
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The story to date – extracted in its entirety from the Wikipedia page on Oracle:
On August 12, 2010, Oracle announced a lawsuit against Google concerning patent and copyright infringement of Java in Google’s development of Android. Oracle claims that “Google’s Android competes with Oracle America’s Java” and that “Google has been aware of Sun’s patent portfolio … since Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers.” Oracle acquired the Java patents when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010. Google’s reimplementation of the Java platform supports most Java functionality, apart from AWT and Swing, instead supplying a native widget toolkit. This may have been a violation of conditions under which Sun granted OpenJDK patents to use open source Java. The company has also targeted the Apache Foundation, which created the Harmony Java implementation, which Oracle has refused to provide the Java certification testing package for. As of August 2010, the lawsuit is ongoing and may take several years to reach a conclusion.
If we then fast forward almost a year, to the present day… The following developments continue the see-saw back and forth of this case.
The case is being heard in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California and presided by Judge William Alsup. So far, Judge Alsup has recently denied both ORacle and Google the rights to either use of prevent the use of information they have access to. Over and above that, not helping Oracles case was a blog posting from Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO of Sun, blessing Google’s use of Java in Android
Judge Alsupdenied Oracle the right to use the damages report because it is not substantive enough and they must supply a more specific figure. he also claims that Oracle are basing damages on the whole use of Java and not just on the patents reportedly infringed. You can read that entire transcript here
Likewise, an email that Google was hoping to get redacted for being covered under attorney-client privilege has been rejected on the grounds that it was a draft only and never been officially submitted. In an internal email, written two weeks before Oracle’s litigation began the Google co-founders asked staff to investigate alternative technical alternatives to Java. The reply was that they had looked at others and did not want to use them on the grounds that “they all suck” and the recommendation was to seek to negotiate a licence for Java. Google attorney, Robert Van Nest dismissed such charges with the claim that the internal proposal to license Java was made only after Oracle litigation became a threat.
The case continues…