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Oracle Sues Google Over Android

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 53 comments

Oracle has filed a patent and copyright infringement suit against Google.

Oracle yesterday released a short but sweet press release announcing that it was taking legal action against Google in relation to alleged copyright and patent infringements involving Android and Java.

"In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property," said Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman. "This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement."

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, argues that Google is using Java-derived technologies without proper licensing and as such, claims that Android, and any device running Android, infringes upon one or more of seven patents owned by Oracle. CNet reports that Oracle acquired the patents in question when it bought Sun Microsystems in April of last year.

The suit also points out that Google must have been aware of Sun's patents because the CEO of the search giant, Eric Schmidt, led the team that developed Java at Sun prior to taking on the roll of CEO at Novell.

"Google has been aware of Sun's patent portfolio, including the patents at issue, since the middle of this decade, when Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers," CNet quotes from the suit.

Google says it has not yet been served with the lawsuit, and couldn't comment until it had had time to review it.

Read the full story here.

Press Release

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Top Comments
  • 35 Hide
    maxsp33d , August 13, 2010 11:39 PM
    The whole patent system is FLAWED. It only slows and sometimes even stops developing new technology. Open source and Creative Commons is the way to go if you want technology moving forward.
  • 18 Hide
    zaixionito , August 13, 2010 11:10 PM
    Saw this. Oracle is a bunch of jerks. They acquire stuff to get patents, then sue Google.
  • 18 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , August 13, 2010 11:23 PM
    This is rapidly becoming the norm. It seems like companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple would rather develop something without having to get licenses from patent owners so that they can keep leaks about their work under wraps until it's close to release. If they license a patent from a third party, that party could leak valuable information about works in progress to the competition. They probably do some risk/cost analysis to look into whether it's better off paying a license fee up front or pay it plus some court fees at a later date and they probably also use the old "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission" adage.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    zaixionito , August 13, 2010 11:10 PM
    Saw this. Oracle is a bunch of jerks. They acquire stuff to get patents, then sue Google.
  • 18 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , August 13, 2010 11:23 PM
    This is rapidly becoming the norm. It seems like companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple would rather develop something without having to get licenses from patent owners so that they can keep leaks about their work under wraps until it's close to release. If they license a patent from a third party, that party could leak valuable information about works in progress to the competition. They probably do some risk/cost analysis to look into whether it's better off paying a license fee up front or pay it plus some court fees at a later date and they probably also use the old "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission" adage.
  • 0 Hide
    nuvon , August 13, 2010 11:37 PM
    This is a heavy weight match.
  • 35 Hide
    maxsp33d , August 13, 2010 11:39 PM
    The whole patent system is FLAWED. It only slows and sometimes even stops developing new technology. Open source and Creative Commons is the way to go if you want technology moving forward.
  • -6 Hide
    house70 , August 13, 2010 11:43 PM
    "released a short but sweet press release"...
    sweet?... really?
    Jane must be hating Google/Android sooo much...

    IMO, Oracle can take their lawsuit and shove it where the Sun don't shine (pun intended).
  • 4 Hide
    the last resort , August 13, 2010 11:46 PM
    maxsp33d, right on. couldn't have said it better.
  • 10 Hide
    JMcEntegart , August 13, 2010 11:52 PM
    house70"released a short but sweet press release"...sweet?... really?Jane must be hating Google/Android sooo much...IMO, Oracle can take their lawsuit and shove it where the Sun don't shine (pun intended).


    Nope, I love my Nexus One and Froyo to boot. :) 

    I meant 'short and sweet' as in 'to the point.'
  • 8 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 14, 2010 12:19 AM
    Dirtman73Is Google at fault here? Probably.Am I basing this opinion on any kind of available evidence? No. I just can't stand Google anymore. Fcuk them. And fcuk Oracle too, while I'm at it.


    I too can't stand Google beyond their mail and search engine but is it just me or does Oracle seem like a bunch of hypocryts?

    They release OpenOffice, a open source free program that utilizes backdoor ways to open, edit and run MS Office files yet they set waiting to sue for patent infringement.......

    Yea....
  • 2 Hide
    cookoy , August 14, 2010 12:26 AM
    Another lawsuit. Wherever the buck stops, we consumers have to pay more bucks!
  • 8 Hide
    tsnorquist , August 14, 2010 12:36 AM
    This patent p*ssing match going on between all companies is begging to get really old. I really wish the system would get a reboot. It stifles competition and feeds trolls (I'm pointing at your Rambus).
  • 10 Hide
    empress101 , August 14, 2010 1:32 AM
    Google should have bought Sun when it had the chance.
  • 3 Hide
    stevo777 , August 14, 2010 1:38 AM
    I don't see that Oracle has a case. Java was already released with an open source mentality and companies and individuals have been creating products based on that for years. This makes Java a public domain thing. Words that were once trademarked like Aspirin, that have become public domain as per the words common or generic use to the public, can't have a valid trademark. The same is true with patents. Java is too generic. If Oracle created some new Java technology, that particular technology might lend itself to a valid patent, but Java in general can't--at least to any judge worth a damn. This is just a big waste of the courts precious time in my view. No wonder the courts are so backed up with all these spurious lawsuits getting filed.

    In my view, their needs to be a movement to not allow patents to be transferable.
  • -4 Hide
    stuoke , August 14, 2010 1:52 AM
    Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't google not charge for Android OS? And if they don't dont charge how can they be sued?
  • 0 Hide
    maxsp33d , August 14, 2010 2:12 AM
    otacon72Our society is based on capitalism. Open source will never be more than a curious experiment as long as the latter holds true. None of the heavy hitters will ever go open source. Not saying I agree with it, just how it is and will be for a long time.


    offtopic:I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but society is no longer based on capitalism. Now it's what some people call Corporatism and Monetarism, where corporations and banks hold all the power.

    Also, another thing relating to the patent system is that when someone gets hired by a company most of the times they make you sign a contract stating that if the employee invents something while working for that company, then the company will hold the patent and not the individual. If an individual or a group of individuals would hold the patent, then the whole system would be much better. And that's why you never hear about an individual suing another individual or a company.
  • 0 Hide
    Repelsteeltje , August 14, 2010 2:33 AM
    Not another patent and copyright infringement suit... I knew Oracle was going to destroy Sun. I guess Stallman was right all along with his doom prophecies. Soon we will live in a world with free people of reason engineering and inventing on one side, and big money corporate trolls out to destroy each other – and society and progress in the process.
  • 0 Hide
    Repelsteeltje , August 14, 2010 2:36 AM
    otacon72Our society is based on capitalism. Open source will never be more than a curious experiment as long as the latter holds true. None of the heavy hitters will ever go open source. Not saying I agree with it, just how it is and will be for a long time.


    Quite the contrary, I guess more and more people and companies will hide for the large corporate patent trolls in open-source and clear, unrestrictive licenses.
  • 4 Hide
    Timberwolf_CLT , August 14, 2010 3:05 AM
    Maybe Larry and the Oracle gang will buy Rambus next...
  • 3 Hide
    dEAne , August 14, 2010 3:07 AM
    so it's a good idea to patent your work so I can sue people who steal them.
  • -5 Hide
    sinality , August 14, 2010 3:19 AM
    Our economic structure is based on capitalism. Often forgotten but there is really nothing free in life. Regardless of opinions on the whole issue and what is "fair" or not; companies are the aggregates of consumers, employees, investors, etc. They choose to enact choices that produce value to the stake holders. Often these are rich investors, but they can be employees, the common person with a 401k, retirees, etc. Blame the rich CEO but there are many individuals who are never discussed and benefit from a company succeeding. So hate it or love it the reality is we chose as a country to live in a society where hard work/risk/innovation can bring greater reward than laziness/playing safe/lacking creativity. As someone who has worked hard for anything I have and as a parent it is hard to blame Oracle for choosing to succeed. This is a fairly common practice that happens hundreds of times a day. Why did Google patent local search technology? To sue or license it. We offer patents to encourage disclosure in return for protection to the owner of IP (intellectual property).

    Why do individuals not own patents? Think of it this way, go out and pay someone to come up with an idea. Then let them take it away, make money, and never give you a thing in return. Not something that works at any level.

    Java is just one of those things Google chose. Come on if they can't do a little homework on the licensing rules with the billions in cash they have then shame on them. What rails, perl, something wasn't available as an alternative? They couldn't sign a licensing agreement in advance?

    I do entirely agree that patent trolls are BS. In this case Oracle/sun spends money actively working on Java r/d, support, etc. So they are not a troll. The patent system needs to reflect the constant change of pace, clarify what is a generic Foo like concept versus a true innovation, and make sure if no product comes to market actively in a certain timeframe the patent dies faster.

    What we need is to recognize that a loaf of bread costs a jar of milk and get over it all. If we don't like Oracle, then stop buying their stuff. If you don't like companies like oracle buying sun, then everyone white night and buy up shares refusing to sell. We all have power to make changes. We just lack the will, organization, and understanding to do anything but complain. I agree it's a lot of work to move some of these mountains. However look how pressure on Microsoft semi-pushed them more open source. Why no pressure on Oracle?
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