Oracle vs. Google re. Java IP: let the games begin!

By Richi Jennings. August 13, 2010.

Please proceed into Android hell. After yesterday's shock lawsuit from Oracle's accusation of Google lifting its Java technology for Android, comes some deeper analysis. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ask why Oracle thinks its patents and copyrights have been infringed.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Fake Steve and Fake Larry on (real) Mark Hurd...


In case you've been living under a rock, here's James Niccolai:

Oracle has filed a lawsuit against Google, charging that its Android phone software infringes Oracle patents and copyrights related to Java. ... When Google developed Android, it included a Java compatible technology called Dalvik. ... [It] was developed as a "clean room" version of Java. ... Oracle says Dalvik is a competitor to Java and infringes several of its patents ... and its Java copyright.


Dalvik is one option for writing Android applications; developers can also use HTML 5 and the C language.

James "Java.father" Gosling isn't surprised:

During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation ... we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle.


They only picked one of my patents (RE38,104) to sue over.

Miguel de Icaza monkeys around:

By GPLing Java, Sun ... gave the patent rights to run the software. ... [But] the rights are only available as long as you are using the GPL version of Java. Any patent grants are not available if you use a third-party licensed version.


[This] explains the Exodus of famous Java people from Sun shortly after the acquisition. The wheels of the lawsuit started spinning the moment the sale was done.

And OSI's Simon Phipps says:

Oracle's complaint against Google ... [has] the full force of the Java specification beartrap, where you only get protection from this stuff and a licence to the specification if you ... pass the test suite (TCK). Which you have to buy.


If you still think software patents are a spur to innovation, you're not paying attention.

But Sam Dean just shakes his head:

This is a shame, and exactly the kind of anti-innovation Silicon Valley behavior that isn't needed. ... It is a classic case of a proprietary software player running roughshod over free, open principles.


This suit will result in truckloads of bad PR for Oracle. ... How many tolls is Oracle likely to want to collect now that it got its crown jewel from Sun?

SJVN's sky is falling:

Java and all its associated technologies are very valuable. Sun was never able to squeeze much money out of Java's IP (intellectual property). Sun preferred to make its money by building programs around Java.


Keep in mind that Oracle is headed by Larry Ellison, the dog-fighting pit-bull of technology CEOs. He'll take on any company at any time if he feels there's a chance that he can win. And Larry doesn't lose very often, as those of us who follow Oracle know so well.

Meanwhile, Dana Gardner pays attention to what's behind the curtain

We must look at the world through the lens that all guns are pointed at Google ... any means to temper its interests and blunt it’s potential influence are in play and will be used. ... Oracle has caused a huge and immediate customer, carrier and handset channel storm for Google. Talk about FUD! ... The uncertainty means a ticking bomb for the entire Android community.
Oracle doesn’t need the money. Oracle will want quite something else in order for the legal Java cloud over Android to go away ... a piece of the action.

And Finally...
Larry is furious about this Mark Hurd thing
[warning: occasional fruity language]
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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