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Oracle claims Google is stealing its Java  (Source: Digital Femme)
Jury trial is expected to pack a lot of interesting information

If you think that Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL) lawsuit against Google Inc. (GOOG) will be your typical boring corporate legal drama, think again.  The expected witness list alone hints at an exciting trial, in the case which was filed in August 2010.  Oracle expects to call on the two companies chief executives -- long-time Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and fresh Google CEO Larry Page -- as the first witnesses.

Jury selection has already begun for the case, which is expected to kick off today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California -- a San Francisco court.  The case went to trial after Oracle rejected a Google settlement offer.

Judge William Alsup -- who presided over the majority of the early hearings in the case -- will now preside over the jury trial, which is expected to last eight weeks.  The trial will consist of three phases -- copyright liability, patent claims and damages.

If Oracle wins, it may be able to obtain anywhere from $100M USD to $1B USD in damages.  Ostensibly Oracle's chief goal, though, is to secure a finding of infringement which would force a ban on all Android handsets.  In such a scenario Oracle could force Google to sign away the majority of its Android revenue in exchange for being able to continue to use Java -- Oracle's proprietary language that Android's core software uses.

The juicy question is exactly how much money Android is making -- a figue that Google has tightly guarded.  Google's past secrecy has led many Apple supporters to speculate that Android is making in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year for Google.  The trial should put such speculation to rest and reveal the true story, though, whatever it may be.  States Judge Alsup says companies will not be able to withhold finances or other sensitive figures, commenting, "This is a public trial."

Android thieves
Oracle will try to sway jurors that Google is indeed guilty of IP theft. [Image Source: Noisecast]

Oracle's case is built heavily around emails indicating that Android managers were aware of this issue, but did not move aggressively to address it.  Oracle also displays Java processing source files contained in the Android repository and how they allegedly reuse blocks of Sun's code, without holding a valid license.

Mr. Ellison is expected to bemoan the "harm" Android has caused his company, and the value of its $7B USD 2010 acquisition Sun Microsystems.

Google, on the other hand, will try to establish that Sun Microsystems knew about and verbally permitted its unlicensed use of Java.  Google points to Sun Microsystems as having called Android a tool to "spread news and word about Java."

It quotes former Sun chief executive Jonathan Schwartz who praised the launch of the unlicensed Android as an "incredible" day for the Java family -- rather inconsistent language with Oracle's claims that Google flagrantly infringed on Sun's Java IP rights.  (Oracle tried to delete the blog in which the former CEO wrote this, but was foiled by webpage archiving.)

Larry Page
Google CEO Larry Page is expected to be an early witness in the trial and may be forced to provide hitherto undisclosed information on Android's profitability.
[Image Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek]

Google is also making the argument that certain parts of Java cannot be copyrighted do to legal agreements made by former Java owner Sun Microsystems with the open source community.  Ostensibly it will attempt to see certain Oracle patents invalidated.

We'll keep you updated as the two tech industry heavyweights carry out their clash in court.


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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By sprockkets on 4/16/2012 7:14:36 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
This isn't correct. Sun released Java under the GNU General Purpose Licence 2.0.
As I understand it, GPL 2.0 means anyone can use any GPL 2.0 software, and modify it as well, write programs with it, distribute it, whatever, all for free, but what they pass on has to also be distributed with the GPL 2.0 licence. This means if you or I or Google write something with Java code, and then distribute it under GPL 2.0 requirements, the code is automatically licenced.


You are a bit off. Google intentionally didn't make Dalvik compatible with Java so you couldn't just run anything on it. It also allowed them to make improvements on it where Java was weak. Bringing up the whole GPL license/Apache license is irrelevant. Harmony is Apache licensed, and they are not and cannot be sued over it.

Oracle's original complaint was Google made an unauthorized clone of it, but could only sue over patents related to it. If your implementation of Java passed their certification, you were also granted patent indemification, which obviously failed for the above reason.

In the course of the past 2 years, most of those patents were ruled invalid. So now they are trying to get them for "copying" the api, which shouldn't be protected by copyright. If it were, stuff like C# and Objective-C would be in violation as well.

quote:
As I see this, Oracle do have a case: Google infringed upon the Sun licence.


It's a case of I took your Java but made my own implementation of it, which is perfectly legal, and has been done time and time again. Having lost the patent angle their last remaining argument of copyright will soon fall as well.


RE: A driver's licence isn't a pilot's licence.
By Tony Swash on 4/16/12, Rating: -1
By sprockkets on 4/16/2012 7:29:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I have no idea who will win this case or what the legal and technical details really mean but


Well then you should shut up if you don't know what you are talking about.

Oh wait you didn't and of course post mindless dribble about how Google didn't do something.


By Cheesew1z69 on 4/17/2012 1:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Thinking? Says the mindless Apple Troll. LOL


By Tony Swash on 4/17/2012 2:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thinking? Says the mindless Apple Troll. LOL

Responding with just churlish insults usually means that you can't think of anything better to say, anything to actually counter an opinion you don't like or disagree with.

Cheesew1z69 - I dare you to string a coherent point together, shock us all :)


By Cheesew1z69 on 4/17/2012 2:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
My point is, as I said, you are a mindless Apple Troll. Anyone with any common sense can see what my point was. I am not here to shock you or anyone else. Everyone is shocked everyday by your mindless Apple trolling. Actually, no, I don't think they are shocked, in fact, they expect it and you deliver each and everyday like the Troll you are.


RE: A driver's licence isn't a pilot's licence.
By nafhan on 4/17/2012 3:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
The funny part about your comment is that you're doing the same thing. You're just using a lot more words to do it. Pot, kettle: black. The other funny part is that this sub-discussion started because you basically said "I have no idea what I'm talking about, but Google is dumb."

Name calling: the brutal essence of all meaningful online discussion! Love it... :)


By Tony Swash on 4/17/2012 5:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say Google was dumb I said it appears it didn't seem to have conducted the level of legal scrutiny and checking one would expect in a project of the likely magnitude and ambition as Android. Do you think, based on the materials made public in this case, that Google's management undertook the level of legal scrutiny one would reasonably expect under the circumstances?


By MojoMan on 4/18/2012 12:04:56 AM , Rating: 2
Swash, so tired of your dribble. You just love to stir up the drama don't you? LOL... Too bad we all reply to you. Shame on us for paying so much attention to a guy that so obviously loves the attention. Oh well... Makes Dailytech a little more "exciting" I guess.


By nafhan on 4/18/2012 10:04:47 AM , Rating: 2
I was talking about the part where you were insulting someone for insulting you. That was funny.


By sprockkets on 4/17/2012 8:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Try to calm down, take a deep breath and - and this is going to be a novel experience - try stringing together an actual coherent comment on the matter at hand.


I have a better idea: Why don't you bugger off and post on some appletard site? That way, your incoherent arguments (which you conveniently ignored above which garnered a 5) will blend in with the rest of the appletards.


RE: A driver's licence isn't a pilot's licence.
By nafhan on 4/17/2012 10:07:30 AM , Rating: 2
With the patent system the way it is. The "solidness" of the legal foundation is essentially inversely proportional to the money being made. In other words: make some money on software (or tech in general) and companies/people are going to come out of the woodwork with inane patents and claims that they were violated. I don't think there's any way for any company to have a rock solid legal foundation in this area. See: every large cell phone manufacturer or OS provider suing all the other ones, for instance. The best they can do is patent every f#cking thing they can and hire an army of lawyers for the inevitable court battles.


By vXv on 4/17/2012 6:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well they can get the legislators that they have bought to do something about it. But apparently not enough harm has been done to get us to this step (yet?).


By someguy123 on 4/16/2012 11:59:00 PM , Rating: 3
If I'm understanding this article correctly, Google's code did not pass java cert and google themselves attempted to ask for a licensing deal after the fact through emails.

The portion of patent infringements ruled invalid were already tossed out. the remainder 100M~1B is for patents considered valid.


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