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Update: Google asks court to dismiss Oracle's Android lawsuit

By Juan Carlos Perez
October 5, 2010 11:46 AM ET

IDG News Service - Google has made a sweeping request that a court throw out the copyright- and patent-infringement lawsuit filed in August by Oracle over Java use in Android, a popular, open-source mobile phone platform created by Google.

In its response to the lawsuit, filed late Monday, Google denies all seven patent-infringement charges, and, in a separate motion, requests that the single copyright-infringement claim be either dismissed or clarified because Google finds it "legally deficient."

Google is also making a counterclaim, seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of the patent-infringement allegations made by Oracle.

A hearing has been set for Nov. 18 for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, to hear arguments for and against Google's motion to dismiss the copyright claim specifically.

"Oracle's Complaint includes impermissibly vague and broad allegations of copyright infringement," reads Google's response.

Google is asking the court to not only dismiss Oracle's lawsuit, but to also rule in favor of Google's counterclaims and to state that Google hasn't incurred in the alleged patent infringement and that the patents in question are invalid.

"It's disappointing that after years of supporting open source, Oracle turned around to attack not just Android, but the entire open source Java community with vague software patent claims," a Google spokesman said Tuesday via e-mail regarding Monday's filings.

Oracle has said that Google "knowingly, directly and repeatedly" violated Java programming language intellectual property that Oracle obtained when earlier this year it acquired Sun Microsystems.

In particular, Oracle is objecting to the Dalvik Java compatible technology Google developed for Android. Dalvik is a virtual machine optimized for mobile devices. All Android applications run in their own process with their own Dalvik instance, according to official Android documentation.

In its response to the lawsuit, Google states that Android developers can use various programming languages, not only Java, and that applications are converted into Dalvik intermediate instructions that any device with a Dalvik VM can execute.

"Although software applications for the Android platform may be written in the Java programming language, the Dalvik bytecode is distinct and different from Java bytecode. The Dalvik VM is not a Java VM," reads Google's response.

Google built Dalvik rather than use the standards-based Java Micro Edition to run Java applications. Developers have said there are technical advantages and disadvantages to using Dalvik. But they have also said that Google may have built Dalvik to get around licensing issues with Sun.

At the time of Android's release, one developer, who now works for Google, wondered if Google realized its move put Sun in a difficult position. Sun was still an independent company and a champion for open source. Suing Google over an open-source software stack would not appease the open-source community, Stefano Mazzocchi, the developer, said then.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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