Friday, August 13, 2010

Oracle vs. Google - the details: Patents, Complaint and Thoughts.


Today different sources tell us about a recent press release from Oracle that Oracle filed a complaint for patent and copyright infringement against Google, Inc. In which spokesperson Karen Tillman states, that
In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement.
(Source: marketwire.com)

If you are interested, you can read the complaint below. It was published in Scribd
and includes more details about the company’s allegations. From the complaint:
Google’s Android competes with Oracle America’s Java as an operating system software platform for cellular telephones and other mobile devices.
[...]
Google has been aware of Sun’s patent portfolio, including the patents at issue, since the middle of this decade, since Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers.
(Source: scribd.com)

The complaint is related to the following patents. Most of them refer to technologies used by the Andoid Dalvik VM.

Protection Domains To Provide Security In A Computer System
Patent No. 6,125,447

Controlling Access To A Resource
Patent No. 6,192,476

Method And Apparatus For Preprocessing And Packaging Class Files
Patent No. 5,966,702

System And Method For Dynamic Preloading Of Classes Through Memory Space Cloning Of A Master Runtime System Process
Patent No. 7,426,720

Method And Apparatus For Resolving Data References In Generate Code
Patent No. RE38, 104

Interpreting functions utilizing a hybrid of virtual and native machine instructions
Patent No. 6,910,205

Method and system for performing static initialization
Patent No. 6,061,520

An official Google response is missing. As reported, one reason for this could be, that the company hasn’t been served with the complaint yet. But they will respond.

My personal 2c on this:
I was expecting something like this. Probably even a bit erlier. Oracle is not know to be one of the good guys if someone is trying to make money from "their" IP. There has been many examples in the past. And this is another one. I strongly believe that the commercial side of Java will change.
Companys dealing with Java/Sun/Oracle patents should check, what they are doing:)
If you are asking, if this is bad. It could be. This is another example for everyone talking about software patents.
Anyway: Beeing in the middle of the transition from Sun/Java to Oracle/Java this is anything but a pupular move.

Oracle Google Complaint