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Google Java Oracle The Almighty Buck The Courts

Google: Sun Offered To License Java For $100M 173

alphadogg writes "Sun Microsystems offered to license its Java technology to Google for $100 million, a Google attorney said Thursday, attempting to show that Oracle is out of touch as it seeks billions from Google for patent infringement. Oracle and Google were in court for a hearing in Oracle's lawsuit accusing Google of patent infringement in its Android OS. Judge William Alsup was in a feisty mood, warning Oracle that 'this court is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle Corporation' and telling Google that Andy Rubin, who runs its Android business, will be 'on the hot-seat' at trial. He also criticized both parties for taking unreasonable positions regarding the amount of damages owed for the alleged infringement."
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Google: Sun Offered To License Java For $100M

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  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Friday July 22, 2011 @09:28AM (#36844828)

    As much as I hate Google as a company, I wish ownership of Java went to them instead of Oracle when Sun died.

    Oracle has a culture of making everything needlessly complicated. Sun did too and that always hurt Java, but Oracle is far worse.

    As a long time Java developer I feel like a Parisian in Nazi held France.

  • by bhunachchicken ( 834243 ) on Friday July 22, 2011 @09:42AM (#36844978) Homepage

    And if anyone still needs further convincing: the makers of Angry Birds are now being sued for patent violations

    As the kids say: What. The. Fuck????

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Friday July 22, 2011 @09:47AM (#36845064) Homepage

    'cept that's nothing like what happened.

    In fact, all Google did was reimplement an already clean-room reimplementation of Java. The case is about software patents, which Oracle claims Google infringed by doing so, not copyrights. The only mention of copyrights was Oracle trying to say "Google made an interface that was compatible with Java" because Google took a public header file (which are non-copyrightable through reason of insufficient expression - because they are *fact*-based files, nothing else) and used it to create a compatible API.

    The lawsuit is basically trying to say "no-one, anywhere, can make anything even vaguely similar to Java because we hold the patent on it", not "Google stole our Java code".

    But, please, do carry on trolling.

  • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Friday July 22, 2011 @10:03AM (#36845256) Journal

    Google can focus on something else besides trying to defend their blatant copy of JVM, and Oracle would have access to Google's refinements that made Java run better on underpowered hardware (register based v. stack based JVM).

    There is no such thing as a copy of Suns JVM etc.
    The only thing that is "similar" is the fact that the "language" used to program on Android "looks like" Java and is ofc from a programmers point of view the same as Java.
    However as soon as you start doing serious development, you realize there is no "Android Java Platform" there is only a language!

    In other words: there is no claim or wish or hint that a "Java Program" would run on Android. The programs need to be considered "Android Programs". The opposite is true as well, an Android Program is not advertized to be compatible to any Java Platform in any way.

    Java is just a modern Pascal in this case or a newer C ...

    If you bring the point about register based VMs versus stack based ones, then python and parrot infringe also Oracles patents?

    I think combining their efforts would bring true innovation to the market, but this patent war is doing the exact opposite. Google and Oracle both need to step back and see that they both are shooting themselves in the foot. If people needed a concrete example of how patents can stifle innovation they only need to look at this case.

    That is very very true and also very very sad :-/

  • Re:Greedy, Oracle. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Friday July 22, 2011 @10:21AM (#36845492)

    "Google wanted to partner to save money, but Sun wanted $100mil and I'm pretty sure Google didn't want to invest that much so they decided not to. But Google used the code anyway and that's where they are in the wrong."

    That or they figured out a way to work around the patents and avoid being guilty of infringement.

    "People have known about Google being in the wrong for about a year. "

    Oh, it's written in a blog on the internet. It must be true then. Perhaps we could update Wikipedia to reference the blog just to confirm it to be the case.

    "It's pretty obvious they knew about these patents but ignored them so that puts them in the wrong."

    Ignored them, or found them to be almost certainly invalid, or simply worked around them? You seem to be rather blindly dismissing some perfectly credible alternative possibilities here.

    More realistically the chance are Google examined the patents, felt they were probably not valid and invalidated by prior art or similar, but to avoid having to deal with the hassle of a costly court case, figured it'd approach Sun about licensing. When Sun gave the $100mill figure they quite possibly figured that the risk of the cost of court was probably worth it, Sun probably didn't take it any further knowing that they themselves saw little point in stumping up the cash for a case they'd probably lose. Oracle however obviously thought differently, but, as some of Oracle's patents have already been dismissed as not valid, then perhaps there's some truth to this theory.

    You seem to have made a very strong assertion, based on very little fact, whilst ignoring perfectly valid alternative possible events.

  • Re:Greedy, Oracle. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Friday July 22, 2011 @10:32AM (#36845672)

    You're ignoring some crucial points:
    1) That google chose a clean-room over SUN tech after the dealmaking failed. That is a perfectly valid defense for a copyright claim - and nothing in the evidence so far suggests that anything other than a copyright claim was ever discussed. Patent claims wouldn't be addressed by a clean-room implementation but so far there is no evidence whatsoever of willfull patent infringement.
    2) The factor of willful and selective enforcement: several other organisations have built java compatible VM's and compilers (Kaffeine and gcj for example) - and never has sun or oracle sued them -despite stating their aim at java-compatibility.
    3) That java itself was GPL'd prior to the oracle acquisition and teh terms of that license provides blanket patent coverage over java itself, it's only the java test-suite (used for measuring compatibility) which is licensed differently (thus remaining patentable) and this is why code such as Apache Foundation's Harmony are safe - they don't do those tests. Oracle has yet to show any proof that google ever used the test-suite.
    4) Public statements by SUN employees that the java patents in question are frivolous (made stronger by the fact that they are the very employees who applied for them) and were only filed to get sun defensive patent protection, and that they even competed to see who could get the stupidest, silliest patent granted.

    This case is still very much up in the air in terms of real guilt. Whether you agree with software patents or not - the simple reality is that Oracle has a lot of unanswered questions here and it's by no means clear-cut whether google did in fact infringe any patents at all - let alone what the true damage assesment should be if they did.

    I find one thing from this far more disturbing: google claims that real damages should be based on android value only, and since android is zero-cost that damages must be zero-cost as well.
    The judge declared that zero-cost is not applicable as their other income (ad-revenue) must be considered as tied in with this. This is very concerning because it would make the likely liability of open-source projects that are sued by patent trolls far higher, if the revenue from the supposedly infringing product is to be expanded to include revenue from any other software, service or product which in some way gets bundled or shared on that product then many open-source companies face a far higher risk in patents than they previously did.

    Imagine if a company sued wordpress for patent infringement and then claimed that every ad shown on their commercial free blog hosting site is revenue that should count toward the calculation of patent damages ?

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry