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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 7:25:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'll stop calling it crapdroid the moment I see it dropping Java crap and starting to behave like a real quality (fast) OS


Yes, cause it's "java" that is causing it to be not "fast".

Or you can read this:

https://plus.google.com/105051985738280261832/post...

quote:
...even though the RIM themselves have dropped this Sun abomination joke from BB10 and Playbook.


What, are you referring to them adding android app support then dropping it because they allowed sideloading? That's rich.

quote:
Java has no place on mobile devices and it will follow the extinction path of mobile Flash, it's just the same low quality molasses slow crap as mobile Flash. Watch it being pwned speed and efficiency wise by iOS, WP and QNX in fuiture releases.


Yeah, that's why my HTC Sensation is less laggy than an iphone4.

I guess Microsoft should kill C#, aka their primary language for everything going forward cause it too is a java like language?


By Pirks on 4/16/2012 8:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Somehow C# is implemented in a much more efficient way, I haven't noticed any lags in C# software compared to usually molasses slow Java apps, for whatever reason, so no, looks like C# may survive the mobile ordeal, at least when looking at how much more smoother and responsive WP7 is compared to crapdroid on the same old single core hardware


By elleehswon on 4/16/2012 10:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
pirks, jw, how long does it take to download all 5 apps on the app store?


By InvertMe on 4/17/2012 10:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
by 5 do you mean almost 100k and growing at a faster rate than Android?


By ksuWildcat on 4/17/2012 9:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
Java isn't the problem; poorly coded applications are going to run slowly regardless of what language they're written in, including C and C#. I wrote a multi-threaded, real-time image capture and analysis software package in Java nearly 10 years ago that ran on old hardware just fine. Java is fast and efficient these days, not to mention that I can still write/compile an application once and it will run on Windows, *nix, or Solaris. We just need better SW developers.


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