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Oracle Sues Google For Infringing Java Patents

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the here-we-go dept.

Google 510

Bruce Perens writes "Oracle has brought a lawsuit against Google claiming that Google has infringed patents on the Java platform in Android. Scribd has a copy of the complaint. But there's a patent grant that should allow Google to use Java royalty-free. Has Google failed to meet the terms of the grant?"

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documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237368)

There's more info on en.swpat.org at:

It's a publicly-editable wiki; feel free to help out.

  • 6,125,447 - Protection Domains To Provide Security In A Computer System
  • 6,192,476 - Controlling Access To A Resource
  • 5,966,702 - Method And Apparatus For Preprocessing And Packaging Class Files
  • 7,426,720 - System And Method For Dynamic Preloading Of Classes Through Memory Space Cloning Of A Master Runtime System Process
  • RE38,104 - Method And Apparatus For Resolving Data References In Generate Code
  • 6,910,205 - Interpreting Functions Utilizing A Hybrid Of Virtual And Native Machine Instructions
  • 6,061,520 - Method And System for Performing Static Initialization

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (1, Flamebait)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237416)

Ellison is cerifiably nuts. Gates' little brother cannot stand being out of the news. He better be careful or this could be the end of Java, already carrying a "get-off-my-lawn" level of obsolescence.

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237516)

wow that site is useless. it doesn't even have any more information than what you put on the comment you're posting.

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237588)

Ah, you might want to actually take a look first.

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237580)

the patents themselves mean pretty much nothing, (hello? Bilski scotus ruling?)and also because Java is licensed under the GPL. So unless google is breaking GPL (very unlikely), it'll be hard to get a clear picture of what is going on at all until this case moves forward.

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237672)

The Bilski case is not the be-all-end-all decision on the topic, infact in typical Slashdot style its a meme that has taken on its own form - it does not invalidate software patents at all, it simply laid out more requirements for testing the patent-ability of something.

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237688)

First, you seem to think the Bilski ruling said a lot more than it did: it did not invalidate software patents and only some of the justices involved even cast any doubt on the idea that they should be valid.

The GPL is irrelevant in this case. Google's VM is not based on Sun's GPL'd code, it is an independent implementation (under a BSD-style license, as I recall). The GPL only protects derivatives of the GPL'd code from patent liability. It does not protect any other code.

Perens seems to be unable to read the text that he quoted in his blog too. The grant there only covers complete Java 2 SE implementations. Android is not a complete J2SE implementation. But, hey, he got it on Slashdot and got paid for the ad impressions down the side...

Re:documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (3, Interesting)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237724)

and also because Java is licensed under the GPL.

"Java" isn't licensed under the GPL. A single Java implementation, derived from Sun's proprietary source code, is licensed under the GPL. Furthermore, the patent grant applies only if you meet specific compatibility conditions, which no implementation other than Sun's meets.

Google implemented the Java language, not its libraries, and did it by themselves. Android (and Dalvik) are licensed under a mix of Apache and GPL, but that doesn't matter; the license under which a third party implementation is released is not relevant for the patent grant.

Google rolled their own implementation and libraries for good reason: the full Java platform would have been far too obese for Android, and embedded versions of Java aren't free at all.

There is effectively only one Java implementation, the one controlled by Sun/Oracle. Sun killed most of the others early on with legal threats, and the few remaining ones seem to fail to meet the conditions of Sun's public patent grant.

Anybody who writes Java software is pretty much stuck with running it on Sun/Oracle's proprietary implementation or its nominally GPL derivative. You're joined at the hip with Oracle, in the bending over kind of sense.

Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237388)

Not for MySQL (to kill) or their overpriced shitty hardware (to commoditize). They bought Sun for Java - you know how many other companies Oracle might have by the short and curlies now?

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237402)

I think it was all three. Sun had a decent amount of virgin un-evil products. Oracle saw them, and had an insatiable desire to corrupt and spread malevolence.

Sun is to blame (5, Interesting)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237642)

It was Sun who never submitted Java to ISO or ANSI, it was Sun who created a dual-licensed Java, it was Sun who filed hundreds of patents on Java-related technologies, and it was Sun who created the limited patent grant under conditions that nobody could meet.

And it was predictable that Sun would eventually fail and get bought by someone who might start to enforce those patents; in fact, the reason Oracle was willing to outbid everybody else was probably because they realized that these patents hadn't been placed fully into the public domain.

I had been warning about this for years, but all the Java fanboys were arguing that Sun was the good guys, that they would never sue, and that Java was a free and open platform.

Do your homework people: what has happened was predictable, and the evil seeds were sown by Sun itself.

Re:Sun is to blame (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237764)

Come on yyxx, this is Slashdot. Here, it's cool to hate successful jerks, not because they're jerks but because they're successful. The rabble here love to hang out all day in the bazaar; the best place to be when The Masters throw some loaves of bread over the wall of the cathedral. LT's a Master, and they wait for his loaves too. It's their Buddha nature. Nobody who didn't swallow the Linux koolaid could fail to see this coming. Now their panties are all bound up...

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (0, Offtopic)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237674)

As far as I'm concerned that ugly red "ORACLE" on the splash screen for OpenOffice is reason enough to hate them; at least the Sun branding was tasteful. And the icons for the individual apps (Writer, Calc, Impress, etc.) didn't all look alike.

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237762)

I just updated OOo and I must say, I actually like the new splash screen better than Sun's (the Oracle logo not-withstanding). potato/potato (you can't really get that across in text-based mediums, unfortunately).

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (5, Funny)

cappp (1822388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237418)

how many other companies Oracle might have by the short and curlies now?

None of the really hip companies, they all shave.

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237434)

Google should have bought Sun. They had all kinds of interesting projects, people, patents and research happening. Plus they also would have had the SPARC platform (not big iron, but the CMT implementations) that, given enough investment, could have paid off in the long run for their commodity datacenters.

For 7 billion, Sun was worth it. I wonder why they just let it pass.

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (4, Funny)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237462)

Why do you think Oracle bought Sun?

For Solaris?

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237556)

Why do you think Oracle bought Sun?

For Solaris?

Don't be ridiculous, they bought it for SPARC..

Re:Why do you think Oracle bought Sun? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237758)

Why do you think Oracle bought Sun?

For Solaris?

Laugh all you want, but Solaris is as far beyond Linux in stability as Linux is beyond Windows.

And there's no file system on earth faster than Sun/Oracle's QFS/SAMFS. Nothing open-source is even on the same planet. The only competition for it is IBM's GPFS.

Serious questions raised by Oracle patent attack (5, Interesting)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237708)

It will be hard to find out whether Oracle planned this kind of aggression when buying Sun, but it can certainly be stated that the free software/open source community hasn't benefited from the acquisition.

There's a number of important questions that Oracle's patent attack raises [blogspot.com] :

  • Did Oracle try to resolve this amicably with Google (by way of a license deal) or is Oracle pursuing purely destructive objectives?
  • Will Google solve this patent problem in a way that the entire Android ecosystem (including the makers of Android-based phones and the authors of Android apps) will be reassured, or will Google only take care of its own risk?
  • Is Java less of an open standard now than C#? I don't really buy the argument that Oracle may only be suing because of deviations from the standards definition. This kind of patent attack is evil no matter whether Google adhere to certain specififcations or not.
  • Isn't this now the ultimate proof that the Open Invention Network doesn't really protect the Linux ecosystem from patent attacks? This is case of one OIN licensee (Oracle) suing another (Google).
  • Where are those FOSS advocates who said that Oracle's acquisition of Sun would be good for the cause and for the community? Some of them even claimed that it was important to have Oracle acquire Sun's patents. I've documented that on my blog [blogspot.com] .
  • Is it perhaps time to forget about the community's favorite bogeyman and recognize that IBM, Oracle and others are a much more serious threat to FOSS at this stage?
  • How can the so-called OpenForum Europe lobby the European Union for open source/open standards when its two most powerful members, IBM and Oracle, are patent aggressors against open source, especially in interoperability contexts?

This is a patent dispute with very wide-ranging implications.

Hooray Patent Minefield! (5, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237396)

Patent Minefields - helping drive innovation forward!

Re:Hooray Patent Minefield! (4, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237546)

Patent Minefields - helping drive innovation forward!

Your satire is well taken. Here's an example, Rare Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer's [nytimes.com] , that shows how much can be accomplished when everyone agrees to share and work together. Perhaps this collaboration is not perfect and the outcome not certain, but perhaps it's a start. We accomplish more when we work together.

The key to the Alzheimer's project was an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to raise money, not just to do research on a vast scale, but also to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.

No one would own the data. No one could submit patent applications, though private companies would ultimately profit from any drugs or imaging tests developed as a result of the effort.

...And the collaboration is already serving as a model for similar efforts against Parkinson's disease.

Re:Hooray Patent Minefield! (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237670)

It is sad that something like "People working for the good of the community" is rarely seen anymore, and lots of research is re-done by different people for nothing.

I read that link and it made me feel quite sad at the poor state that we are in - if we can't personally profit from something, we don't do it.

If only more people (and more industries) would follow the 'data sharing' model. I've no idea when "Living in a Community" ever became "Sucking what we need out of other people" - but its a rubbish system.

Re:Hooray Patent Minefield! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237572)

In this case that's probably accurate but only because Java was, from the outset a poor choice for android. Oracle have provided Google with the opportunity and incentive to remove Java from Android alltogether.

The unfortunate way in which Oracle chose to bring the matter to Googles attention notwithstanding; autohell, C/C++ and luaJIT/V8 make for a more appealing development environment than Eclipse and Java.

Re:Hooray Patent Minefield! (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237698)

Innovation in bullshit legal arguments and other methods for lawyers involved in these sorts of cases to sponge more cash off of the productive and useful sections of society you mean?

Please sue the patent office! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237398)

This is the list of patents they claim to be violated:
6,125,447, 6,192,476, 5,966,702, 7,426,720, RE38,104, 6,910,205 und
6,061,520

So maybe it's time to show that each of these patents wasn't new at the
priority date and that the patent office once again screwed up checking
if a claimed patent really was new at the priority date. .. any way to sue the patent office for this? .. at least we should ship this somehow to google .. not that I want to
defend google over oracle, it's more that everything against the patent
office seems to be right to me ..

Publishing something under the GPL version 2 (yes, version two!)
according to RMS implicitly allows to use possibly violated patents.
Something he made explicit with the GPLv3. But doesn't this kill the
whole case?

best regards,

jan

What follows is a short association to each patent where I already heard
of it (so like 10 minutes / patent .. something the patent office
obviously wasn't able to do .. )

===

-- cut 6,125,447 / 1997 --
1. A method for providing security, the method comprising the steps of:

establishing one or more protection domains, wherein a protection domain
is associated with zero or more permissions;

establishing an association between said one or more protection domains
and one or more classes of one or more objects; and

determining whether an action requested by a particular object is
permitted based on said association between said one or more protection
domains and said one or more classes.
-- end cut --
-> This is C++ private / protected
-- cut evidence 1983 --
C++ (pronounced see plus plus) is a statically typed, free-form,
multi-paradigm, compiled, general-purpose programming language. It is
regarded as a "middle-level" language, as it comprises a combination of
both high-level and low-level language features.[2] It was developed by
Bjarne Stroustrup starting in 1979 at Bell Labs as an enhancement to the
C programming language and originally named C with Classes. It was
renamed C++ in 1983.[3]
-- end cut --

===

-- cut 6,192,476 / 1997 --
1. A method for providing security, the method comprising the steps of:

detecting when a request for an action is made by a principal; and

in response to detecting the request, determining whether said action is
authorized based on permissions associated with a plurality of routines
in a calling hierarchy associated with said principal, wherein said
permissions are associated with said plurality of routines based on a
first association between protection domains and permissions.
-- end cut --
Sounds to me like ACLs (Access Control Lists), for example documented
within POSIX.1e

===

-- cut 5,966,702 / 1997 --
1. A method of pre-processing class files comprising:

determining plurality of duplicated elements in a plurality of class files;

forming a shared table comprising said plurality of duplicated elements;

removing said duplicated elements from said plurality of class files to
obtain a plurality of reduced class files; and

forming a multi-class file comprising said plurality of reduced class
files and said shared table
-- end cut --
This one is easy: select distinct count(*) from xyz-table;
This is very old SQL-92. (so a public standard published in 1992)

===

-- cut 7,426,720 / 2003 --
1. A system for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space
cloning of a master runtime system process, comprising: A processor; A
memory a class preloader to obtain a representation of at least one
class from a source definition provided as object-oriented program code;
a master runtime system process to interpret and to instantiate the
representation as a class definition in a memory space of the master
runtime system process; a runtime environment to clone the memory space
as a child runtime system process responsive to a process request and to
execute the child runtime system process; and a copy-on-write process
cloning mechanism to instantiate the child runtime system process by
copying references to the memory space of the master runtime system
process into a separate memory space for the child runtime system
process, and to defer copying of the memory space of the master runtime
system process until the child runtime system process needs to modify
the referenced memory space of the master runtime system process.
-- end cut --
This is simple copy-on-write memory process management, for example used
  and programmed already in early publicly available Linux kernels. (I
remember that version 2.2 already had it, published 1999, but probably
older versions also had it)

===

-- cut RE38,104 / 1999 --
1. In a computer system comprising a program in source code form, a
method for generating executable code for said program and resolving
data references in said generated code, said method comprising the steps
of: a) generating executable code in intermediate form for said program
in source code form with data references being made in said generated
code on a symbolic basis, said generated code comprising a plurality of
instructions of said computer system; b) interpreting said instructions,
one at a time, in accordance to a program execution control; c)
resolving said symbolic references to corresponding numeric references,
replacing said symbolic references with their corresponding numeric
references, and continuing interpretation without advancing program
execution, as said symbolic references are encountered while said
instructions are being interpreted; and d) obtaining data in accordance
to said numeric references, and continuing interpretation after
advancing program execution, as said numeric references are encountered
while said instruction are being interpreted; said steps b) through d)
being performed iteratively and interleaving..]. .[.
-- end cut --
This is simply dynamic shared library loading and usage, also well known
an understood in the science of informatics since the early 80s. For
evidence you could also look at Linux Kernel version 2.0 published 1996.

===

-- cut 6,910,205 / 2002 --
1. In a computer system, a method for increasing the execution speed of
virtual machine instructions at runtime, the method comprising:
receiving a first virtual machine instruction; generating, at runtime, a
new virtual machine instruction that represents or references one or
more native instructions that can be executed instead of said first
virtual machine instruction; and executing said new virtual machine
instruction instead of said first virtual machine instruction.
-- end cut --
This are just-in-time-compilers. They do all of this and much more much
better.
"October 25, 1996 Sun announces first Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler for
Java platform"

===

-- cut 6,061,520 / 1998 --
1. A method in a data processing system for statically initializing an
array, comprising the steps of:

compiling source code containing the array with static values to
generate a class file with a clinit method containing byte codes to
statically initialize the array to the static values;

receiving the class file into a preloader;

simulating execution of the byte codes of the clinit method against a
memory without executing the byte codes to identify the static
initialization of the array by the preloader;

storing into an output file an instruction requesting the static
initialization of the array; and

interpreting the instruction by a virtual machine to perform the static
initialization of the array.
-- end cut --
Ok, this one sounds like crap. It's so specialiced, that it probably
can't at all be rebuild by anyone and google could have never used this
if sun hadn't open sourced java an released under the GPL itself ..

best regards,

Jan

Please, *you*, sue the patent office! (3, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237492)

> maybe it's time to show that each of these patents wasn't new

Ever heard of 1-click?? The review took five years (!) and the end result was that it was upheld and just narrowed. I wonder how much is costs to hire a lawyer for five years... please tell me in 2015 when you've done what you suggest :-)

Re:Please sue the patent office! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237676)

Guy, literally every single one of your guesses is absolutely way out. They're talknig more about classloaders and signed apps than ACLs and C++-style object models. Your SQL example is hilarious - no, they're not trying to count anything. They're creating shared class files originally comprised of greater than one class file, recognising where the byte blocks are identical. Think more VM or storage deduplication, not counting things.

What does it mean (1)

Codename Dutchess (1782238) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237414)

The text of their lawsuit isn't available. Does that mean its not publicly available? How do we hear about a lawsuit, and not have any wording on the lawsuit?

Here's the lawsuit as a PDF (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237454)

> The text of their lawsuit isn't available

Yes it is. I put it here:

Other info:

Like most things in the legal system..... (2, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237426)

There are so many laws and twisty parts, that I'm sure everyone violates some law every day, it is only the lack of incarceration space and your own unimportance that keep us out of trouble. While Oracle sueing over Java is the surest way of destroying the language so people won't want to use it, at least Oracle is pulling its SCO moment against a peer like Google, and not building up a case against small companies that can't fight back.

Re:Like most things in the legal system..... (2, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237530)

Thats the underlying idea of Silverglate's "Three Felonies a Day" [amazon.com] . I haven't read the book yet myself but the general points he makes in his discussion seems well founded. There's a youtube vid [youtube.com] if you feel like a general overview - the Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] has a brief summary as well.

Re:Like most things in the legal system..... (0, Offtopic)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237732)

> ...I'm sure everyone violates some law every day...

True, but this is about patent infringement. Oracle has not alleged that any laws were violated.

Can't believe Java still exists (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237428)

If it wasn't for Jdownloader I wouldn't allow that shit anywhere near a computer. Let's hope Google delist Oracel from their Index and the saddos disappear for good.

And I am NOT an anonymous coward, I am an Anonymous PIRATE

Sun released Java under the GPL (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237430)

"PJ: Well. It's for patent and copyright infringement. And guess who is representing Oracle Morrison & Foerster and Boies Schiller. I take it the latter have decided to learn from the masters. But this is really, really sad on so many levels. Also puzzling. Since Sun released Java under the GPL, how can anyone be sued for anything like this? The complaint doesn't make that clear, saying just that Google has no license, so for sure we'll be watching this litigation. So we'll have to wait until Google answers the complaint to get a clearer picture."
Groklaw [groklaw.net]

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237444)

Yeah but I think this is about non-sun implementations which use sun/oracle patented techniques.

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237532)

Yes.
But then all the arguments against .NET/Mono in favor of Java fall quite out of place: you are not free with Java either (if experience speaks, you are less than with .NET/Mono - MS never sued for that yet at least).
To be true, I wonder how this applies to basically every language, library, framework, whatever - it's certainly difficult to track and be 100% certain of having every possible license for patents, and to be compliant to the terms.

BTW, this is again a strong argument against SW patents, and in favor of patent clauses in open source licenses.

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (2, Interesting)

IceFreak2000 (564869) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237604)

I could be wrong, but I don't think .NET/Mono is relevant here - both the C# Language and the Common Language Runtime are ECMA standards. Whereas Sun did indeed open-source the Java language, but the runtime remained completely under their control and if I've understood the complaint from Oracle correctly they are attempting to go for Google on the basis of the Dalvik VM. As I say though, I could be completely wrong about this ;)

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237470)

Are there still parts of Java not released under GPL? In that case, it could be those parts which are covered by the patents and copyright in question.

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237564)

It really doesn't matter if its released under the GPL or not. Not in the least. Largely, the GPL does not address matters of patents. That's what created the GPLv3. Having royalty free copyright access does not speak at all to patent accessibility.

Having said that, Oracle/Sun's patents are complete bullshit and should never have been granted. All of the stated patents have a huge body of pre-existing art.

I sure wish the patent examiners were forced to pay legal fees out of their retirement accounts. If this were enacted, I'm sure the number of completely illegitimate patents would suddenly dry up overnight.

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237664)

It really doesn't matter if its released under the GPL or not. Not in the least. Largely, the GPL does not address matters of patents. That's what created the GPLv3. Having royalty free copyright access does not speak at all to patent accessibility.

GPLv2 does not explicitly address patents. From my understanding it's considered "fairly likely" that it implies a patent license to anyone using that code, but (part of) the reason for GPLv3 was that "fairly likely" tends to make for very expensive court cases.

But I don't think any of that actually matters here, since as I understand it Google isn't actually using any of the code that Sun released. Even the patent language in GPLv3 looks like it only applies to (modified version of) the released code.

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237718)

The GPL is irrelevant. It contains a patent grant that only applies to derived works of the GPL'd work. Dalvik is an independent implementation and so is neither bound by the GPL nor covered by the extra grants of rights that it contains.

Re:Sun released Java under the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237514)

"PJ: Well. It's for patent and copyright infringement. And guess who is representing Oracle Morrison & Foerster and Boies Schiller. I take it the latter have decided to learn from the masters. But this is really, really sad on so many levels. Also puzzling. Since Sun released Java under the GPL, how can anyone be sued for anything like this? The complaint doesn't make that clear, saying just that Google has no license, so for sure we'll be watching this litigation. So we'll have to wait until Google answers the complaint to get a clearer picture."

Groklaw [groklaw.net]

Is the GPL even relevant here?

Is the Android Java platform even derived from Sun's GPL'd code? If so, under what version of the GPL was Sun's code released? AFAIK GPLv2 wouldn't preclude a patent-related lawsuit.

And does the Sun's release of the Java source code allow use of the Java name? If Google is calling their platform "Java" or "Java-compatible", they may be bound by the license that Oracle is claiming.

Anonymous Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237432)

How many of you think Oracle's popularity is dwindling fast?

Re:Anonymous Oracle (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237456)

Oracle don't care. They are in it for the money, even more than IBM.

Congratulation ORACLE (2, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237438)

You're retarded

No, really. Whose idea was that? How's that MBA called? Ok, then Google says, "ok, here's your billion dollars, go away"

Or Google can absolutely block Oracle with its patents and other dirty tricks.

And then MS will have a field day with this.

Of course, Google in using Java in the first place for android, is debatable, still

Re:Congratulation ORACLE (3, Informative)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237574)

Of course, Google in using Java in the first place for android, is debatable, still

Google isn't really "using Java"; they are using the Java language, but almost none of the implementation or libraries.

Why did they choose the Java language? Because they needed a safe, statically typed, garbage collected language that people had experience with and that there were tools for. There is little else out there that fits the bill (C# wasn't an option at the time they started).

Re:Congratulation ORACLE (3, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237620)

You're right, and I understand that. I have friends developing for android and they say it's a breeze.

But not even the best solution is without faults

Re:Congratulation ORACLE (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237736)

Google isn't really "using Java"; they are using the Java language, but almost none of the implementation or libraries.

Which is why Bruce Perens' blog entry is irrelevant. If he'd bothered to read the text that he quoted, he'd see that the patent grant only applies to complete implementations of the Java SE environment. Android uses Java-the-language but not Java-the-platform, so is not covered by the patent grant. This was intentional on the part of Sun: the aim of Java was 'write once, run anywhere' and this is not possible if various implementations have incompatible standard library implementations.

Re:Congratulation ORACLE (3, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237656)

  • An expanding company makes Java part of their platform.
  • The short-sighted company which owns Java sues the expanding company.
  • The expanding company drops Java and carries on expanding.
  • The short-sighted company realizes its mistake too late.

How ironic (0)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237442)

That the first competing VM to be throttled by the patent holder would be a Java-based one, not a .NET-based one. I bet Steve Ballmer is laughing his ass off right now saying, "even I'm not that stupid."

Note to Microsoft: now would be a perfect time to stick your boot up Oracle's ass so far they'll cough up rubber for a week by signing an iron clad patent licensing agreement with the FSF and Mono team that says that Microsoft will never sue an OSS .NET implementation that is released under the GPL or a BSD-like license. (The fact is that Microsoft develops Windows-specific APIs too rapidly and too well for Mono to be a threat to its business).

Re:How ironic (5, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237466)

That the first competing VM to be throttled by the patent holder would be a Java-based one, not a .NET-based one. I bet Steve Ballmer is laughing his ass off right now saying, "even I'm not that stupid."

Did you miss the part where SUN has (succesfully) sued Microsoft for the exact same thing?

Re:How ironic (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237678)

If you looked up "pyrrhic victory" in the dictionary it'd probably make reference to Sun vs Microsoft

Re:How ironic (1)

quintesse (654840) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237682)

That was a contract dispute, it was not about patents. And besides it was a different era, Java was young still and Sun was afraid that Microsft would damage the "eco system". Nowadays they probably wouldn't have cared except for the fact that you can't call it Java if it doesn't adhere to the specs or fails the tests.

Re:How ironic (3, Informative)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237750)

No. Sun sued Microsoft because Microsoft was not implementing the JVM to spec, thereby violating the trademark agreement they had with Sun that allowed them to use the Java name for their JVM.

Mart

Re:How ironic (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237512)

just because Oracle did it first, doesn't mean MS won't. We need wait to see if this has any merit too. It may not stick.

Re:How ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237614)

the obligatory "microsoft is somehow involved" too. I got over the microsoft sucks attitude years ago. All tech companies are just nasty bastards trying to make money. And most of you work for one of them, so fuck off. Don't get me wrong, I think steve ballmer it dick cheney's evil fucking twin.

Epic Fight on the way.. (5, Informative)

tebee (1280900) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237446)

I wonder if this could be as big and as interesting(for the geek community) a fight as SCO v Novell

There's an interesting comment on James Gosling's blog http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/entry/the_shit_finally_hits_the [nighthacks.com]

"Not a big surprise. During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle"

And yet more money get syphoned out of the IT industry into the lawyers pockets. Sigh

Re:Epic Fight on the way.. (5, Insightful)

delt0r (999393) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237528)

Patents work for the economy like breaking windows. Do your part today. Break a window.

Re:Epic Fight on the way.. (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237662)

I wonder if this could be as big and as interesting(for the geek community) a fight as SCO v Novell

I'm sure that in ~10 years (when this one gets settled) somebody will be able to write an exciting and full of intrigue 2k words article about it, but the process itself is boring. May be their PR teams' fight will add a little spice, but still... boring.

Is the Android Java *complete*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237464)

From the linked article:

This license allows and is limited to the creation and distribution of clean room implementations of this specification that:

(i) include a complete implementation of the current version of this specification without subsetting or supersetting;

(ii) implement all the interfaces and functionality of the required packages of the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, as defined by SUN, without subsetting or supersetting;

If the Java implementation on the Android isn't complete or has proprietary Android-only extensions, Google is violating the license.

These are the same clauses Sun nailed Microsoft on.

Re:Is the Android Java *complete*? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237522)

But isn't that if you call it java? I don't know that google do that.

Re:Is the Android Java *complete*? (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237538)

The "of the current version" clause is interesting: It actually means that as soon as a new version is published, all those distributing the previous version cannot distribute anything until they changed the implementation to match the new specification. Change versions fast enough, and no one will have a real chance to comply.

Re:Is the Android Java *complete*? (1)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237740)

No, it isn't. I know right off the top of my head that AWT and Swing were left out intentionally.

Oracle will win (0, Flamebait)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237468)

Sun developed Java for embedded systems, and then further for business systems,
investing enormous amounts of capital to create better technology. This was done
over the period of over a decade. For this they deserve IP protection.

The fact that Google is so closely copying their method means that *whatever*
patents Sun had on the Java VM, could easily be said to be infringed upon.

The details of course will play a part, but on the face of it myself I side
with Oracle. If Google wanted to do Java on the android, they should have
licensed the VM like everyone else, not stolen it.

What Google has done is exactly what the patent system was invented to
protect agaist.

-paul

Re:Oracle will win (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237502)

How about Microsoft with the C# VM? Or perl with Parrot, and python?

Re:Oracle will win (2, Interesting)

stikves (127823) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237568)

A few days ago, I was checking the .Net Micro Framework (for embedded systems, not the regular one). Apparently (almost) the entire stack is open source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Micro_Framework [wikipedia.org]

"available along with the source code as a free download under the Apache 2.0 license at the Microsoft Download Center.."

And Microsoft is actually encouraging people to port it (thus .Net is used on more platforms). Given their patent pledge (which is now more open than Java's) there is almost no risk.

Oh the irony!

Re:Oracle will win (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237602)

Apparently (almost) the entire stack is open source ... there is almost no risk.

you wrote that and yet still failed to spot the really important word, in brackets, twice! :)

Re:Oracle will win (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237624)

Microsoft and Sun signed a broad patent cross-license for this stuff long ago.

Re:Oracle will win (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237584)

- Software patents are not considered valid in the majority of the world, precisely because they get in the way of perfectly reasonable actions.
- Software patents on an "open" standard might not be enforceable if those patents are required to implement that standard, and are the only sensible way to do so. Interoperability with an existing product can't be protected by a patent if that patent is the only (or only sensible) way to do things.
- All the mentioned patents have prior art except one, which is so far worded towards Java only use that it falls foul of the previous statement (I didn't think you *could* patent something that specific to a particular product).
- The Oracle patents are particularly weak, most of them re-iterating 1980's knowledge of programming.
- Google probably has one of the largest patent profiles ever, especially in the area of collating huge amounts of data into a database - this is commercial suicide for Oracle who could well see a retaliatory attack that they just can't afford to defend against (yes, THAT many patents). Google's patents are likely to be MUCH more substantial than these Oracle ones.
- Sun never had a problem with IP protection. You don't need to protect your IP when "Java" is in everything from mobile phones to servers - basically Sun *WAS* Java and not much else before it was taken over, and saw no need to sue anyone at all substantial over patent infringement when it could have done at any time for even more cash.
- Going for Google first is commercial suicide - there will be other, smaller, players using third-party Java VM's.
- Suing immediately is a sign of desperation. Much more conducive to receiving compensation would have been quiet negotiations (there hasn't been ANY time for that since the Oracle takeover) and/or asking them to work around the patent at least. The path chosen is the most stupid and expensive.
- The lawyers here are Boies, Schiller & Flexner - the same ones that handled the SCO case's IP side. That went well for them. *fall into fits of derisive laughter*.

Much more likely is a quiet settlement involving cash, or Google saying "Go for it" and filing a counterclaim for a whole host of patents they own. Google can pretty much take Oracle to the cleaners if it wants. It makes me wonder why Oracle has set itself up to be that target.

Re:Oracle will win (2)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237734)

or Google saying "Go for it" and filing a counterclaim for a whole host of patents they own. Google can pretty much take Oracle to the cleaners if it wants. It makes me wonder why Oracle has set itself up to be that target.

This might make me a jerk but I would love to see this happen.

Re:Oracle will win (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237654)

That's an interesting way of looking at things, except historically there's never been a problem creating your own compiler or interpreter for an existing managed language. This is precisely why Microsoft's C# is an ISO/ECMA standard, because it means other people can create their own implementation for the standard language hence spreading it's use and adoption leading to net benefits for the company.

For example, in developing Android apps that connect to a web server someone may then go on to pay for and use Sun's enterprise products which makes sense as you're keeping the technology the same. They might even have gone on to use one of Oracle's database solutions too.

The irony now is that it seems Google would've actually been no less safe in creating a C# VM and having that as their development language. Although, from what I can tell of this case the issue is the VM itself rather than the language itself- this means that if Oracle wins this case then any other technology almost certainly including all Microsoft's .NET languages running on the CLR (in other words the CLR itself) are at risk of also infringing these patents.

This is bad all round, if Oracle isn't careful not only do they risk killing interest in Java, but also stifling all modern programming language development too and we'll all be worse off for that, whichever side of the fence we sit on. Look at the things covered in this post:

http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1752790&cid=33237368 [slashdot.org]

Some of them are important advances in modern programming languages that make all code written using them better off.

Re:Oracle will win (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237748)

When DEC sold RDB to Oracle the price for support went up by almost a factor of ten. There was no intention to develop the product. They wanted the cash.

Re:Oracle will win (1)

keirre23hu (638913) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237666)

Patent Infringement != Theft How do you "steal" a method for doing something? Further, if you cannot implement basic java functionality, then why why why is it an "open" language in the first place... Its like if I tell you to read a paper before writing your own, then I get mad when the paper I had you read influences your writing.. software patents are absolutely the devil.

Re:Oracle will win (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237770)

If Google wanted to do Java on the android, they should have licensed the VM like everyone else...

They did. Sun licensed it to everyone. Read the grant in the specification. > ...not stolen it. It is impossible to steal an idea.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237486)

God, it's like SCO & IBM again.

Stepping on the toes of just one the world's largest corporations not enough for them?

Copyright too ? (3, Interesting)

Builder (103701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237494)

The link mentions both patent and copyright infringement. Is that accurate?

I'm far more interested in alleged copyright violations in an open-source ecosystem than patent violations. What does it mean for other players trying to build on Java if you're going to get done for copyright infringement by doing so ?

Stallman rolling in his, er, house (5, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237504)

Isn't this exactly what Stallman warned [gnu.org] when he suggested that Open Office should be forked because it used Java?

Re:Stallman rolling in his, er, house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237608)

No, it wasn't. Did you notice the note that is added before the article that states that the information in it is out of date? This article isn't about patents.

Re:Stallman rolling in his, er, house (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237704)

I wonder if GNU classpath is immune to this..

Re:Stallman rolling in his, er, house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237710)

The best way to fork OpenOffice would be to fork it to the darkest and nullest corner of /dev/null. Seriously, it has so outdated and horrible UI that one can't even consider using it for anything. Also the actual important features (integration to other products like "Sharepoint",) are lagging 10+ years behind in development. It is lost cause at this point and should be abandoned.

Re:Stallman rolling in his, er, house (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237742)

I think he said something that [i]SOUNDS[/i] like "Open Office is forked because it uses Java".

Re:Stallman rolling in his, er, house (2, Insightful)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237746)

RMS is really a great visionary but Oracle actually proves him wrong because he recently warned against Mono, DotGNU and C# because of patent concerns. I disagreed and said that those platforms are the last pieces of software against Microsoft would consider using its patents because those basically help the .NET ecosystem. More importantly, I said that other programming languages are also patent-encumbered, and I mentioned Java [blogspot.com] . That's why I thought it was wrong to single out C#.

Oddly enough, right now -- just a few weeks later -- it looks like C#, which was submitted to a standards body, is actually much safer from a patent point of view [blogspot.com] than Java and much more of an open standard.

Not a grant; a licence (3, Informative)

NotoriousDAN (588957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237534)

The summary and article both misuse the word "grant". The quoted text is not from a patent grant but rather a patent licence (or "license" in the US). A patent grant is something issued by the government to an inventor or his employer, not something issued by a patentee to anyone else.

Boo Oracle (2, Insightful)

rveldpau (1765928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237540)

Boo Oracle! This could spell the end for Java.

Looks like a good reason... (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237542)

...not to use Java.

Re:Looks like a good reason... (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237728)

Why exactly?

as predicted (4, Interesting)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237548)

So much for all the people who said that Java was open, free, and not patent-encumbered. The Java patent grant [perens.com] set up conditions that you can essentially not meet unless you use Sun/Oracle's version. And the fact that Sun was going to be taken over was obvious for years. I had just hoped it was going to be IBM, who wouldn't have done this sort of thing.

If I was Google... (2, Interesting)

zyche (784345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237550)

...I would immediately make a large donation to PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] - the arch enemy for all Oracle database solutions. Just to spite them.

They're not using Java (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237570)

Android has its own VM called Dalvik. You use Java tools to compile to JVM bytecode and then there's a translater to Dalvik bytecode.

Re:They're not using Java (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237632)

Android has its own VM called Dalvik. You use Java tools to compile to JVM bytecode and then there's a translater to Dalvik bytecode.

Maybe Oracle believe Dalvik implements their patented techniques.

At least there's still the mono project. (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237578)

I don't think mono's been sued over patents yet. Maybe it really is the safer choice despite what everyone had been saying?

Re:At least there's still the mono project. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237772)

I don't think mono's been sued over patents yet. Maybe it really is the safer choice despite what everyone had been saying?

Yet. When Balmer runs MS into the ground and Apple buys them, Jobs will sue anyone that uses mono.

Must See: Java Fanbois eating crow! (0, Flamebait)

jrbrtsn (103896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237612)

Do all you Java fanbois remember capriciously dismissing concerns about Sun's licensing of Java way back when? I hope you enjoy
EATING CROW!!!!

easy solution for Google: (1)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237616)

Just bloody buy Oracle! Last I saw there was like 120million oracle shares trading at around 25$ so the price for buying every share is about 3billion$. Didn't Google make 6.5billion net in 2009?

Yes these are rough figures from a minute or so of googling and I make no claims of them being 100% correct.

Re:easy solution for Google: (3, Funny)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237644)

I can see the news Headlines: "Google buys Evil"

Oracle ate Sun and Duke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237628)

Boycott Oracle! :p

All of a sudden iPhone looks like an open system.. (0, Offtopic)

madsh (266758) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237756)

Why did they choose the Java language? Because they needed a safe, statically typed, garbage collected language that people had experience with and that there were tools for. There is little else out there that fits the bill (C# wasn't an option at the time they started).

Objective-C on iPhone is a pain to learn, but at least the iPhone will not go down in flames from companies fighting over rights to language, runtime, tools and access to application markets.

Where are the Mono haters? (2, Informative)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237766)

This is going to get down voted to hell. But anyway.

Here is Miguel's opinion [tirania.org] on this development.

I hope the Mono hating will finally stop now.

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