Oracle Receives Court Permission to Use Google's Email in Java Patent Case
October 21, 2011 9:33 AM
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Google had fought to keep Oracle from using the email against it
Oracle sued Google
for patent infringement concerning the Android mobile operating system. Oracle claimed that Google had infringed on Java-related patents and copyrights, and Oracle had purchased the rights to Java in 2009 when it purchased Sun Microsystems for $5.6 billion.
Google said it had looked into using other programming languages for its Android mobile operating system, but they apparently didn't meet Google's standards.
"Java is essential for Android," said Al Hilwa, of research firm IDC. "Since Android has been out there for more than a year, most people would have expected they were in compliance with whatever license terms apply."
Not long before Oracle filed its lawsuit, Google had created an email saying that it needed to "negotiate a license for Java." Once the lawsuit erupted, Google fought to keep the email from being used by Oracle in the case.
But now, U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled in an order on Thursday that the email is not protected by the attorney client privilege.
"Google has failed to identify any aspect of the challenged order that was clearly erroneous or contrary to law," said Alsup in the ruling.
While this doesn't look good for Google, Alsup already
partially granted a request by Google
to throw out Oracle's $2.6 billion in damages, saying that 90 percent of the Oracle patents were ruled invalid.
Reports have also noted that Google could
drop parts of Java's J2SE code
from the Android mobile operating system and avoid further Java-related issues with Oracle.
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RE: This is a big deal
10/22/2011 3:08:25 AM
You need to do a little more reading on copyright law.
Making significant changes to the derivative product allows the new version to be a separate work that is not subject to the original copyright. So-called clean room programming where the coders are given a set of specifications, but no coding requirements other than the result function the same is the usual solution where the language definition itself is not proprietary.
The real problem is that the code base Google used has modules taken from the Sun/Oracle implementation. By claiming that the individual modules were not modified sufficiently to meet the standard in the law, Oracle can invoke copyright infringement for those modules. If Google had 'clean room' code that implemented Java with no connection other than implementing the standardized language definition, there would be less of a problem.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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