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Oracle, Google Move To Streamline Java Suit

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the brass-tacks-and-billable-hours dept.

Google 49

itwbennett writes "Google and Oracle each submitted proposals on Friday to reduce the number of claims in their Java patent infringement lawsuit, which could help bring the case to a speedier conclusion. Earlier this month, lawyers for the two companies gave Judge William Alsup of the US District Court in San Francisco a crash course in Java to prepare him for a claim construction conference."

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The only possible winners are (5, Insightful)

Malnar (1810062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982878)

...the lawyers.

Re:The only possible winners are (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983132)

The only way to win is not to play.

Re:The only possible winners are (2)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983150)

The thing about that is - and this applies equally to thermonuclear war - it only works if both players stop playing.

Re:The only possible winners are (1)

gmueckl (950314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983290)

Who said that there are only two players?

Re:The only possible winners are (3, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983886)

Because giant corporation just love to throw away cash ? If Oracle wins and Google has to pay license fees for their Android implementation of Java Oracle will not only have protected its lucrative Java business from similar shenanigans in the future but it will go home with a pile of cash much bigger than what they are paying their law department. You may not like it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't pay.

Fine couture, indeed (3, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982904)

So is a Java suit anything like a Zoot suit? Always wanted one o' them. Will the Gap be selling these?

Re:Fine couture, indeed (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983206)

It's quite similar to a Zoot suit. But you have to pour coffee on it before it's truly a Java suit.

Re:Fine couture, indeed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983946)

So is a Java suit anything like a Zoot suit?

No, it is more like a Leisure Suit Larry Ellison.

Re:Fine couture, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984604)

They already do! They're coffee-colored, but called "khakis" to avoid copyright infringement.

Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982950)

Lawyers gave a crash course is Java??
Should it have been programmers or someone more oriented towards programming?

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982970)

Programmers will influence the judge because they will be affected by the ruling. Only lawyers can be trusted for total impartiality.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983084)

And don't forget FORTRAN programmers. You can't get more impartial about a Java lawsuit than FORTRAN programmers...

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983298)

Yes you can.
How about COBOL Coders then?

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984314)

Lots of companies are deploying Java where they previously deployed COBOL, so COBOL programmers are definitely not impartial. In contrast, about the only thing that looks like it might stand a chance of displacing Fortran 77 is Fortran 90 - and that's by no means certain.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985264)

The loud sound you just heard is "Whoooooosh".

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35987000)

That sound resulted from my numerical simulation running so fast, since it is programmed in optimized Fortran 90. LAPACK 4EVR!

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (2)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983582)

You can't get more impartial about a Java lawsuit than FORTRAN programmers...

That might just be the Alzheimer's at work, though.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985730)

That won't work. You need at least 12 people on a jury.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

Exclamation mark! (1961328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982978)

No. That would make sense.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983178)

I just read that in the loud punchline voice of John Oliver.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

serps (517783) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982992)

Obviously it's a crash course in Java from a legal perspective, which is totally different than from a programming perspective. Which programmer cares whether there's established legal precedents to determine whether the JVM creates additional 'copies' of infringing software from a damages perspective?

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (4, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983006)

No, its from a technical perspective.
From the linked /. article

Lawyers for Oracle and Google gave Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco an overview of Java and why it was invented, and an explanation of terms such as bytecode, compiler, class library and machine-readable code. The tutorial was to prepare him for a claim construction conference in two weeks, where he'll have to sort out disputes between the two sides about how language in Oracle's Java patents should be interpreted. At one point an attorney for Google, Scott Weingaertner, described how a typical computer is made up of applications, an OS and the hardware underneath. 'I understand that much,' Alsup said, asking him to move on. But he had to ask several questions to grasp some aspects of Java, including the concept of Java class libraries. 'Coming into today's hearing, I couldn't understand what was meant by a class,' he admitted."

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983632)

No, its from a technical perspective. From the linked /. article

Lawyers for Oracle and Google gave Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco an overview of Java and why it was invented, and an explanation of terms such as bytecode, compiler, class library and machine-readable code. The tutorial was to prepare him for a claim construction conference in two weeks, where he'll have to sort out disputes between the two sides about how language in Oracle's Java patents should be interpreted. At one point an attorney for Google, Scott Weingaertner, described how a typical computer is made up of applications, an OS and the hardware underneath. 'I understand that much,' Alsup said, asking him to move on. But he had to ask several questions to grasp some aspects of Java, including the concept of Java class libraries. 'Coming into today's hearing, I couldn't understand what was meant by a class,' he admitted."

Not only is it a good idea in general to know what you're talking about, I posit that it should be made illegal to preside over a case unless you understand the basics of what is disputed... As in cases such as this, a brief crash course can be given. A simple quiz about the subject could be given to judges and jurors alike to deem if they are fit to pass judgment.

Additionally, I think the patent system should also apply this methodology to their examiners. Clearly, the examiner that allowed the "swinging on swing sideways" patent application [google.com] to be granted in 2002 was not properly educated about the common use of swings in general... A bit of education in this respect could have saved lots of tax payer dollars spent on the re-examination and subsequent invalidation of the bogus "business method" patent.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984418)

Except that our legal system specifically and intentionally works exactly the opposite direction. When selecting random people off the street for a jury, the lawyers and the court specifically ask whether they have knowledge of the case or matters at hand, or if they have any legal training. If the answer to any of those questions is "yes" they are dismissed - ensuring that we end up with a jury that is completely ignorant of the issues and the laws and the manner in which the laws are applied to the case at hand. Believe it or not - they will insist that this is a "good thing"...

Having a judge who knows nothing about Java or computers preside over this case is simply the same concept applied again. They will tell you that it is a good thing that the judge knows nothing of the subject matter and that some short instruction is all he needs to make a legally binding decision.

And we wonder why our legal system makes such weird decisions...

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35987248)

Except that knowing something specific about, say, a murder case is not the same thing as knowing what the fuck murder is. What occurred here with the judge being briefed on some java terms seems to be the latter.

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (2, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983038)

here's a crash course on android java.

my main "activity"(aka applet/application/midlet) has imports like import android.util.Log; import android.app.Activity; etc,
but here's the imports from the rendering class that actually does something else than just interface input and os things,

import java.io.IOException;import java.io.InputStream;import java.nio.ByteBuffer;import java.nio.ByteOrder;import java.nio.FloatBuffer;
import java.util.concurrent.Semaphore;import javax.microedition.khronos.egl.EGLConfig;import javax.microedition.khronos.opengles.GL10;

(the semaphore is there because the ogl rendering gets run in it's own thread aaaaaaaaargh, but really, eh, kinda hard to not think of it as not java)

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985986)

You do realise that Oracle is suing Google (mostly) over patents on the (J)VM, and not copyright over the use of the "java" namespace, right?

java.io isn't exactly covered (or even coverable) by patent...

Re:Lawyers gave a crash course is Java?? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35987862)

"Namespaces"

Abstract:
Process or method of encapsulating program code under a shared hierarchal grouping identified through arbitrary names

Surely an Exception course? (2, Funny)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983312)

Java apps don't crash they throw exceptions or the JVM dies.

More poo slinging... (4, Funny)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983000)

The last time something like this happened, Adobe acquired Macromedia... It's how large guerrilla's get to know each other.

 

Re:More poo slinging... (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983318)

I think we are talking gorillas of the 800lb kind, not guerrillas of the Afganistani warlord type...

Re:More poo slinging... (3, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983528)

Unless, of course, your guerillas also weigh 800 pounds. Sumo guerillas, anyone?

Re:More poo slinging... (3, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983712)

Unless, of course, your guerillas also weigh 800 pounds. Sumo guerillas, anyone?

No no.. A guerrilla should never be weighed in pounds -- That's a currency unit you dolt. They can cost 800 pounds, but no gorilla or guerrilla is worth it's weight in pounds!

The real 800 pound gorilla in the room is that this saying depends on the current exchange rate for gorillas, eh? I can never figure out if that saying refers to an expensive, cheap, or reasonably priced ape. What's the going exchange rate for gorillas these days in Loonies? [wikipedia.org]

Re:More poo slinging... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35987938)

a pound is a pound is weight -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_sterling#History

guess you're the 'you doit' here

- Macaroni Hat

Re:More poo slinging... (1)

nitroscen (811508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35999984)

a pound is a pound is weight -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_sterling#History

guess you're the 'you doit' here

- Macaroni Hat

Whooooosh

Re:More poo slinging... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35994398)

You all native english speakers are insensitive clods.

Under God... (1)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983100)

The supreme court is under God.

God says...
Of knee harmonious Alas hurt restlessly silenced being
twice Thrones scratch clay cleansing dispenser government
wantonness mainly closing consecrated ulcerous imparts
another's knocking requires despair high gentle Verecundus
trailed sun deductible distinction forgetting relative
plays serene pupils commits trademark hapless Honor retreat
faculty multitude hearted down ungodliness grasp solidity
SEND Firminus Yea asunder shamefulness acquainted some
charges Hippocrates separated replenishing Greek gleam
young check pronounced

Don't think so. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983220)

The day the Pope's wife takes the pill. Sorry, given their history..

crash course in Java - a Google perspective (5, Funny)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983314)

-- Sun --

Imagine a box of Smalltalk.

Imagine someone dropping that box in a festering pit of C. (Not all pits of C are festering. This one is.)

Redefine "API" as "buzzword implementation".

Extend according to what the competition's doing, rather than as may be technically appropriate.

-- Google --

Recall how Microsoft made Java incompatible and how nerds all hated it.

Recall that you are Google and all nerds love you.

Do the same thing.

Watch your market grow to Apple levels of hysteria.

Observe Hank Scorpio [youtube.com] taking over Java.

Take out the flame retardant lawyers, and, in a scenario looking increasingly Monty Python, use them to teach judges Java. ...

Re:crash course in Java - a Google perspective (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35986410)

What Google did to Java barely has anything to do with what Microsoft did. Are you aware of that?

Re:crash course in Java - a Google perspective (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35989310)

True. Microsoft tried to get you to use Microsoft's platform-specific extensions to standard Java specifications, locking you in to the Microsoft platform, while Google requires you to use Google's.

SPIN city (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983548)

Oracle made the lawsuit, it means Oracle are accepting many of their claims were baseless, and doesn't want them listed in court.

The 'spin' that this is to streamline the case is rubbish.

Umm.. Streamline? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983750)

Are we sure that they didn't garbage collect the case?

Re:Umm.. Streamline? (1)

alder (31602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984046)

They are only marking the claims now.

Judge Can't Cram classes.*; for Court (5, Insightful)

necro351 (593591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984318)

Computer Science and software engineering are rife with themes. Many so-called inventions and 'new' ideas are applying these tried and true themes to a new permutation of some old problem. For instance, folding two loops together to reap stale items in a hash-table while simultaneously doing a query by iterating across a bucket list (a previous but recent slashdot patent posting). You can tell someone (a Judge) what JIT is, that it effectively combines caching of already-compiled code with partial compilation, but he can't appreciate that software engineering and computer science are pervaded by the concepts of caching, and right-sizing work. He can't possibly appreciate how obvious some of these 'inventions' are, and rank them fairly on a scale of truly inventive (LZW in my opinion) to 'someone-skilled-in-the-art-could-do-that' (twiddling bits in FAT to support short file-names). I think this is in general the primary source of frustration for engineers and scientists: that judges and patent clerks who really have no good sense of taste or knowlege on the matter make such important decisions. Redhat pointed out once that in the _vast_ majority of patent suits, the person being sued is never accused of actually _reading_ the patent, but infringing accidentally. People don't read software patents, so their claimed benefit of being able to publish great ideas by protecting them for the inventor is just bunk: society eats the bar while the inventor is anomolously protected for really no reason. They are basically landmines that only rich or organized people can buy, and most of the community knows it. Giving judges crash courses in Java is a promising start, but its also a depressing reminder of how far we have to go.

Re:Judge Can't Cram classes.*; for Court (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35986422)

+100 Insightful.

Re:Judge Can't Cram classes.*; for Court (1)

Mana Mana (16072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35989136)

> He can't possibly appreciate how obvious some of these
> 'inventions' are,

That's where the adversarial system of plaintiff vs. defendant succeeds. Proviso, the litigant, combatants are equally resource rich, i.e., matched. No man, nor judge is omniscient, men are ignorant on all but their singular competency. Thou thinkest too much of modern informatik.

Damn...but for the lack of an 'e' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985510)

I hate when I misread the title...it's sad how happy appending an 'e' to the last word would make me.

Excellent news (1)

homesnatch (1089609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35987742)

Oracle and Google put aside their differences and collaborate to streamline the java suite... oh... suit.
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