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Dispute Damages Would Exceed Android Revenues

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the pay-in-negative-dollars dept.

Android 166

CWmike writes "A new document in a year-old patent lawsuit filed by Oracle against Google over Android intellectual property suggests Oracle could be seeking huge damages from Google. The damages owed to Oracle, if granted by federal Judge William Alsup for the US District Court for Northern California, would 'far exceed any money Google has ever earned with Android' and could lead to a rewrite of Android's Dalvik virtual machine, considered integral to Android and used by Android device manufacturers and potentially thousands of Android app developers, wrote one blogger, Florian Mueller, who writes about intellectual property issues involving the software industry."

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Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367828)

Florian is not a blogger, he is a professional troll.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2)

sockman (133264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367852)

No kidding, when will this idiot disappear.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368210)

No kidding, when will this idiot disappear.

When Microsoft stops paying him.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (3, Insightful)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368284)

When will /. stop linking to him?

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368474)

IF piquepaille was any indication - when he is dead.

Re:Piquepaille (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368560)

Wow, I hadn't thought of him, but you're right, he passed on.

(Age 62 to some bacterial infection.)

It's the ever eternal push between revenue and purity.

Really though, Florian Mueller and Galen Grumen have signed some nice deals that keep getting limelight.

Slashdot is posting articles lately that force the commenters to fix the damn articles. That's starting to grate on me.

Re:Piquepaille (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369376)

Very few people who actually accomplishes things strive for purity. Those who do inevitably compromise somewhere to achieve it, then gloss over the compromises. Only in the mind of the idealist is it even possible.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367870)

U mad bro?

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367914)

Indeed. Florian is an idiot!

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Linus-on-Android-headers-claims-seem-totally-bogus-1212280.html

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Informative)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367916)

PJ has already chopped the legs out from under this latest troll job.

Link [groklaw.net]

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368680)

The groklaw article summarizes it like this: It is very early in the MS v Motorola suit; winning a construction claim does not mean much so early. Florian apparently can't count. By his math, MS is up 17- 5. PJ's estimate is MS 12, Motorola 6, and neither 4. Florian seems to have moved all the neither counts to be MS victories. PJ also remind us that in Oracle v Google, Oracle's initial 132 claims have been reduced to 3. Not exactly the gloom that the article paints.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368914)

You go in with as many claims as you can make up. It may be that it only takes one successful claim to ruin Android.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369078)

The point is if he can't do simple addition, can you count on his analysis? Hey we all make mistakes but he clearly seems to have an agenda proclaiming that Android is doomed. If you read any of the lwn posts, he takes the Glen Beck tactic of "I'm not saying that Android raped and murdered all these patents and copyrights; I'm saying no one has denied it. I find that interesting, don't you?"

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369978)

You go in with as many claims as you can make up. It may be that it only takes one successful claim to ruin Android.

Indeed, you only need one. A better example of the folly of software patents is hard to find.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367944)

"Blogger" is his title-of-the-moment. He's also been called "activist," "lobbyist," and "lawyer." Whichever title is most convenient to the topic at hand, is the one he'll use.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368006)

If anyone here doesn't keep up with Linux Weekly News, here's a example article and discussion thread involving said Florian Mueller:

http://lwn.net/Articles/434318/ [lwn.net]

Never knew much about him, but still was startled by his descent into on-payroll patent troll.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2)

funkelectric (931604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368362)

Mod parent up. The LWN link illuminates the agenda Florian Mueller is incessantly pushing. To give an idea of his style:

How will you separate this special case from other cases of copyright laundering? Are you sure Google hasn't already done this in other cases, too?Are you sure nobody else has done or will now consider doing this, following Google's example?

He is throwing mud under the assumption some of it will stick in the reader's mind. It's a veritable litany of "you cannot be sure", "X must have an agenda to do Y", "we need a reasonable degree of certainty" plus a few other standard debating tricks. It's not even done particuarly well when faced with astute responses.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368200)

not liking something doesn't make it wrong.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368212)

Florian is not a blogger, he is a professional troll.

I'd never heard of him before, but looking at his arguments is like watching Glen Beck. Given a lack of evidence to support his fear-mongering, he puts his fingers in his ears and repeatedly says, "I'm just asking the question: can we really say there's definitely no infringement?" When every specific example he cites is debunked, he returns to his litany and insists that infringement is possible, then chides his opponents for being unable to prove the impossible. Having debated competitively, I detect the belief that aggressively responding to every argument is equivalent to winning.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (4, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370148)

Why won't Florian Mueller deny that he raped and murdered a young girl in 1980?

I'm just asking.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368240)

Florian is not a blogger, he is a professional troll.

A few things about trolls confuse me. How do they use keyboards given the size of their fingers? Also internet access must be difficult under a bridge? You mention a Professional Troll? Is living under a bridge eating goats and children a profession? Is it government work and they repair the bridges they live under?

MiFi under a bridge (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368328)

How do they use keyboards given the size of their fingers?

Many different fictional species have been called "trolls". In order to look up the anatomy of the trolls in a given fictional universe, it helps to know the author. Besides, how does an adult human use the keyboard on a PDA or smartphone?

Also internet access must be difficult under a bridge?

Not with a MiFi or other mobile broadband device.

You mention a Professional Troll?

The profession of such a troll could be to collect advertising revenue.

Re:MiFi under a bridge (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368662)

The profession of such a troll could be to collect advertising revenue.

Another entry to add to the "Virtues of Ad-Blockers" list. Not only does it speed up browsing and get rid of most of the crap, it also makes society a better place by not feeding revenue to the trolls. It's a win-win!

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369398)

A few things about trolls confuse me. How do they use keyboards given the size of their fingers?

Touch keypad and a stylus. Next question.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (5, Interesting)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368306)

Seriously, half of the stories that get posted on /. now are from trolls, particularly the ones about Android. It's gotten so bad that I really feel guilty that I'm continuing to read slashdot - I think it is wrong of me to continue to give my attention to such a low quality source of news and discussion when surely there are higher quality outlets available and more deserving of our attention.

So, what are those other sites? Has some other site picked up where /. left off? A site where they (or their system) somehow weeds out the lowest quality items before accepting them?

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368758)

If you're looking for higher-quality news than is posted here, I'd recommend that you check out FoxNews.com [foxnews.com] .

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368852)

well, there's metafilter, reddit and digg. But those are even worse.

The problem with /. is that being a geek is mainstream and cool, so there are hipsters coming here and trying to act like us. And then they post retarded shit, but what we've seen over the past year is them gaining enough critical mass to break the moderation system.

I'm personally a socialist, but I remember that there was a time when well-researched conservative arguments had a place here; now there's only retarded libertarianism and neoconservatism, though that may have more to do with the collapse of conservatism as an intellectual movement. I remember a time when the highest-rated posts on science stories were from people in the field providing context that the science writers couldn't, now the highest-rated posts are LOL SCIENCE IS HARD.

There's 4chan, which avoids herd mentality and having community leaders and karma and not saying what you mean for the sake of your reputation by making everyone anonymous.

Ultimately, we need to make it so being a geek isn't cool any more. Then the idiots will leave us alone.

Slashdot now: News for consumers, stuff that sells (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368904)

So many story summaries now are oversensalized, with many stories that are more like advertisements.
It seems it's all about page hits and controversy.

"News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters" is long gone.
Too often the *Editors* can't be bothered to even edit or check stories before posting them.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368910)

Digg.

Wow, I couldn't keep a straight face just typing that.

No, sadly the internet is just made of failure and suck. Better get used to it, because this is about as good as it gets.

Hardly. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369002)

As good as it gets? Please. Slashdot hasn't been as good as it gets all this century. Honestly, I switched to Digg years ago. Even when it started becoming 'cool' and 'mainstream' and filled with idiots, it still offered more interesting news, much fresher, and with better discussions than Slashdot.

Then v4 came, and pretty much even those of us too lazy to abandon ship found ourselves on life rafts.

Could suggest maybe Reddit - that's where a lot of people, both former Slashdotters and Diggers - have ended, but the site looks like designed-by-an-engineer crap.

Such is the way of things, though. The fields are sown; crops grow; are harvested, and then covered with the desolation of winter. Buildings are constructed, only to crumble. Empires rise and fall.

As for me, I'll continue to float in my rubber life raft; trolling where the currents take me.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2)

microbox (704317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369084)

Recently discovered "researchblogging.org". Not computer news, but more substance than /. by a long shot.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369206)

I'm trying to get something going on here http://zizindrin.com.

- ademar

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (2)

npsimons (32752) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369862)

Seriously, half of the stories that get posted on /. now are from trolls, particularly the ones about Android. It's gotten so bad that I really feel guilty that I'm continuing to read slashdot - I think it is wrong of me to continue to give my attention to such a low quality source of news and discussion when surely there are higher quality outlets available and more deserving of our attention.

Try using the firehose [slashdot.org] ; I try to go there at least once a day and downvote the trolls, spam and other BS, and upvote the truly interesting stories.

So, what are those other sites? Has some other site picked up where /. left off? A site where they (or their system) somehow weeds out the lowest quality items before accepting them?

I don't know; I have noticed that many people who used to post regularly aren't anymore. The sad truth is, slashdot may still be better than the alternatives, and at least we have some input here.

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368526)

With open source 'friends' like Florian, who needs enemies?

Re:Florian is not a blogger, he is a troll (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368868)

Is there a difference?

Sun (2)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367848)

Kind of makes me wonder why Google didn't buy Sun.

Re:Sun (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367902)

why buy when you can "steal"?

Re:Sun (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367924)

I'm sure they didn't think far enough ahead and thought it would be no big deal for Oracle to have it.

Of cousre Oracle has been in the business of screwing people for a long time so their interest in SUN should have been the first clue bad things were possible.

Re:Sun (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370160)

I'm sure they didn't think far enough ahead and thought it would be no big deal for Oracle to have it.

Of cousre Oracle has been in the business of screwing people for a long time so their interest in SUN should have been the first clue bad things were possible.

True, but it's usually their customers that Oracle screws.

Re:Sun (1)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367972)

Kind of makes me wonder why Google didn't buy Sun.

and answers all the questions about why Oracle did

Re:Sun (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367998)

Kind of makes me wonder why they ever used the inferior Java in the first place. Please name 1 respectable application or game written in it.

Re:Sun (3, Funny)

cozzbp (1845636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368124)

Minecraft

Re:Sun (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368150)

Kind of makes me wonder why they ever used the inferior Java in the first place. Please name 1 respectable application or game written in it.

Obvious troll aside, it does set a pretty negative picture on Java. If you figure out how to make a successful product based on Java, expect to have Oracle come knocking on your door with a murder of lawyers to try and put a stop to it. Only people that should be making money off Java is Oracle, after all.

Re:Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368296)

Anyone that has dealt with Oracle knows that they are one of the greediest, and worst companies to deal with. (using Java. Their entire claim against Android is that they rolled their own version of Java without a license.

By using Java, you are not open to it as long as you use legal tools and ordinary JVMs. This is analogous to the threat that was posed to Mono developers. They were coding on a supposedly unlicensed version of .NET Framework. Developers of traditional .NET applications (e.g., people that do not target Mono) were not at risk whether you in it or not. Of course, Microsoft publicly stated that they would not sue people for using Mono, nor sue the Mono project developers (then, Novell, and now a forked spin-off). Chances are, you won't see anything like that come from Oracle.

Re:Sun (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368452)

If Mono only exists at the pleasure of Microsoft, that makes it essentially irrelevant.

I'd never consider coding in a language where only "approved" implementations are allowed (even if one them is "free").

Re:Sun (2)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369618)

Well, fortunately, Mono doesn't.

Microsoft may have some patents related to ".NET", but that's not used by most Mono applications. The language, the VM, and the core libraries are free and open, and most Mono apps use Gtk+ and other FOSS libraries and APIs. When you install Mono on Linux, you usually don't even get the .NET libraries by default.

Re:Sun (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368408)

IBM's Host On Demand may suck, but it's functional for most terminal users, and there is a big market for it. And it's respectable.

Do you need more examples? Or are you just spewing? Java does, in fact, work. What would you choose for an open-source mobile platform? Python?

Re:Sun (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368788)

What about NetBeans and MySQL Workbench? :)

Re:Sun (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368088)

They didn't think they had too. They worked from the Harmony project which was supposed to be clean. Sun didn't seem to mind. Plus these are software patents which frankly should even exist. It will be interesting to see how many hold up in court. It isn't as if Google doesn't have a huge crap load of money to spend on the lawsuit.

Re:Sun (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368668)

Kind of makes me wonder why Google didn't buy Sun.

Because Google spent years hiring away most of the smart engineers.

No need to acquire the MBA dead wood after you have the talent.

Re:Sun (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369036)

But it might have been worth to acquire the patents.

Florian again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367864)

Sheesh!

Android is a loss leader (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367872)

Google isn't trying to make money from it, rather they're attempting to drive people to their other services, such as search, that make money. This is the reason why you can't remove some apps from an Android.

Re:Android is a loss leader (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367938)

You can remove whatever you like from Android. Removing whatever you like from actual marketed phones, on the other hand...

Re:Android is a loss leader (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368536)

Holy hairsplitting arguments, Batman! It makes me want to punch him.

Now, Robi.. POW!

Re:Android is a loss leader (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369022)

You call it hairsplitting, I call it appropriately assigning blame. Google isn't preventing you from removing just about anything from Android... Motorola, Samsung, HTC, the various cell providers, et. al are. For example, I own a Virgin Mobile branded Samsung phone with Android, and there are several apps specific to VMobile and Samsung, but with no direct connection to Google which I cannot remove; other Android phones from different manufacturers and on different networks have different suites of such software (including, theoretically, no such software). Google isn't to blame for this, because vanilla Android doesn't come with this software.

Re:Android is a loss leader (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369180)

other Android phones from different manufacturers and on different networks have different suites of such software (including, theoretically, no such software).

Google sells these, when they sell them. They're the Nexus phones.

Google isn't to blame for this, because vanilla Android doesn't come with this software.

They're a beneficial partner to the arrangement -- remember they make Android for the OEMs and the carriers, to their specifications and with their prior input and collaboration. It's not like Apple where they put their foot down and say "NO SHOVELWARE! NO BRANDED 3RD PARTY EXPERIENCE!" Google respects the rights of its customers, which is to say, the OEMs and carriers, far too much to prevent them from tinkering.

Re:Android is a loss leader (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369220)

You call it hairsplitting, I call it appropriately assigning blame. Google isn't preventing you from removing just about anything from Android... Motorola, Samsung, HTC, the various cell providers, et. al are. For example, I own a Virgin Mobile branded Samsung phone with Android, and there are several apps specific to VMobile and Samsung, but with no direct connection to Google which I cannot remove; other Android phones from different manufacturers and on different networks have different suites of such software (including, theoretically, no such software). Google isn't to blame for this, because vanilla Android doesn't come with this software.

Vanilla Android comes with a lot of crap, actually.
It's just Google crap.

Re:Android is a loss leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36370052)

Google isn't trying to make money from it, rather they're attempting to drive people to their other services, such as search, that make money.

That's like saying iOS is a loss leader and Apple are attempting to drive people to their hardware business and their iTunes services that make money. This is the reason why you can't remove iOS from iDevices.

Find sanity at... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367892)

For a countervailing opinion, see www.groklaw.net. The newest article was written by guest writer, Pamela Jones.

~Loyal

Re:Find sanity at... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370072)

The newest article was written by guest writer, Pamela Jones.

As in PJ, the founder of groklaw.

what about harmony (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367970)

I thought the google code was based on harmony, a clean room implementation. If so, I don't see where Oracle has a leg to stand on. Of course, I could be wrong.

Re:what about harmony (0)

Applekid (993327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368038)

I thought the google code was based on harmony, a clean room implementation. If so, I don't see where Oracle has a leg to stand on. Of course, I could be wrong.

It doesn't even matter. Suits cost money and Oracle's got a lot of it to spend. It's the corporate world's analogue to gunboat diplomacy.

Re:what about harmony (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368190)

Right, and Google is poor and lacks lawyers. Gunboat diplomacy is less effective when the enemy actually has a few aircraft carriers. I think Oracle sees this more as a risk vs. reward thing. File the suit. If you win you get a whole lot of money. If you lose, you got a couple invalid patents that probably weren't worth much to begin with (or you would have won), and you paid some lawyers you were probably paying anyway. Small risk, big potential reward.

Re:what about harmony (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368370)

Right, and Google is poor and lacks lawyers. Gunboat diplomacy is less effective when the enemy actually has a few aircraft carriers. I think Oracle sees this more as a risk vs. reward thing. File the suit. If you win you get a whole lot of money. If you lose, you got a couple invalid patents that probably weren't worth much to begin with (or you would have won), and you paid some lawyers you were probably paying anyway. Small risk, big potential reward.

I just checked Google's revenue numbers, and it looks like the 2010 numbers has them exceeding Oracle, so, I'm wrong. Wasn't the first time, won't be the last. :)

Re:what about harmony (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368066)

Like lacking a sound legal basis for a lawsuit has ever stopped anyone before...

Re:what about harmony (4, Informative)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368172)

Clean room implementations generally protect you from copyright infringement. From a legal perspective, patents are a different beast altogether. If I hold a valid patent, your independent invention of the patented device/algorithm/whatever infringes. The only way you get to legally use that independent invention is to either (a) invalidate my patent or (b) get a license from me.

Re:what about harmony (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368548)

I think google expects to (a) invalidate your patent -or- (c) get as much clarification as possible from a judge as to how far extending your patent is, and code around it.

The problem currently is that everything from hand gestures is 'patented' and the only way to know if you can do something is to do it and find out from a judge whether or not you could.

Re:what about harmony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368182)

A clean room implementation may protect you from copyright claims, but not patent infringement claims.

Re:what about harmony (1)

TooManyNames (711346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368270)

For patents, it doesn't really matter if you come up with the idea independently; if your process, machine, manufacture, or composition is a subset of what is claimed in an existing patent (and what you did isn't eligible as prior art) and you're profiting from it, then you're infringing. Think about it like this: if you come up with a new motor or something, patent it, and then someone else sees your general idea, implements the same thing and sells it, but does so without delving into the details of how your motor is constructed, would you accuse them of infringing? Answer honestly now. Granted, this example doesn't touch on the validity of software patents or transferred IP, but I think that the underlying reasoning concerning infringement is pretty sound.

Re:what about harmony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368726)

Depends on whether the exact details down to the very wire to use is documented within the patent application, publically available for all to read, or not.

Re:what about harmony (1)

TooManyNames (711346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368934)

Actually, infringement is litigated based on what is claimed. The claims of a patent have to be supported by the written description of the patent, but the claims (which can be quite broad, and can be broadened after issuance) ultimately determine whether somebody infringed or not.

Re:what about harmony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369850)

You don't have to be profiting from the infringement - U.S. patent law prevents you from manufacturing or even *using* something that infringes a valid patent, regardless of whether any money changes hands.

Re:what about harmony (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368280)

Clean room matters in copyright, not in patents.

Re:what about harmony (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368406)

It should.

Being able to "re-invent" something should nullify a patent completely.

Patents are like nuclear weapons and should be created and deployed accordingly.

Re:what about harmony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368498)

You are 100% incorrect about the way patents work. They are specifically designed to protect patent holders from "re-invention" of their techniques.

Re:what about harmony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368632)

It should.

And with that comment, you prove that you don't understand what patents are all about. The whole point of patents is to make it easy to re-invent a process/product. Patents are trying to keep us away from the days of guilds--everything is a trade secret, and no-one cooperates. Instead, the inventor gets an economic incentive (17 years of monopoly) in exchange for opening up their work.

Now, whether software should be patentable is up for debate, as is a valid length of a software patent, assuming software is patentable (17 years is pretty close to forever in software time). But copyright and patents cover two different things--with copyright, you're protecting a way of expressing an idea, and with patents, you're protecting the idea itself. And if you really think you can "clean room" invent an idea, think about what that means before answering.

Re:what about harmony (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369868)

It should.

And with that comment, you prove that you don't understand what patents are all about. The whole point of patents is to make it easy to re-invent a process/product. Patents are trying to keep us away from the days of guilds--everything is a trade secret, and no-one cooperates. Instead, the inventor gets an economic incentive (17 years of monopoly) in exchange for opening up their work.

Sadly, you have acurately described the proprietary software industry -- yep, despite the bogus patent laws, it's still a "guild" -- Membership dues are patent litigation and/or cross licensing (which can be bought with enough buckets of money).

Now, whether software should be patentable is up for debate, as is a valid length of a software patent, assuming software is patentable (17 years is pretty close to forever in software time). But copyright and patents cover two different things--with copyright, you're protecting a way of expressing an idea, and with patents, you're protecting the idea itself. And if you really think you can "clean room" invent an idea, think about what that means before answering.

I don't think "up for debate" is a good way to put it, unless you know of any patent offices re-evaluating or questioning the validity of software patents; Why would they invalidate them all and lose the revenue stream it affords them?

Should they be invalid, yes. Software is math. Math can not be patented. Somehow we allowed "Math" in a computer machine to be patented because the PTOs were to dumb to realize that the "computing machine" is just an extension of my pencil & paper, or mind. It's a math concept visualizer (like paper), and since you can't patent "Math" on Paper, or in stone or scrawled on the side of a bridge, you shouldn't be able to patent it in a computer. The first "computers" were people -- Building a machine to do what a human does should not prevent humans from being able to do it, yet this is what software patents (Math executed via machine) do.

Allow patents for the math visualizer machines themselves, but not for the math that we feed them.

P.S. Ever hear the term "Paperless" ? How are we to achieve this goal if the new digital medium is patentable where paper was not?

Rewrite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368048)

Can someone explain how a rewrite of the Dalvik VM would help with this lawsuit? From what I understand:

A. Dalvik is a clean-room implementation of a "Java-esque" virtual machine
B. The lawsuit is about patents, not copyright, so the exact code implementation doesn't matter, just the general form of the solution
C. Many (most?) of the patents in question are deeply imbedded in the idea of a virtual machine--to the point that I can't see a way around them.

All of these things add up to a rewrite being a pointless waste of time--even if Dalvik was rewritten from the ground up, you would have a very hard time fixing all of the patent issues. Determining whether the methods are justifiably patentable (I know /. hates software patents, and I agree, but they do exist legally at the moment, so get past that please) seems to be much more important to Google's case than getting rid of the patents. IANAL, however, so I could be misunderstanding the basis for the case.

Any thoughts?

Re:Rewrite? (2)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368460)

If a patent is going to be valid, it's going to be specific enough that workarounds or alternative solutions could exist. You don't patent having solved a problem. You patent the way you solved it.

Now, back to the real world, yeah, it's entirely possible that a rewrite of Dalvik may be pointless. We'll see.

Re:Rewrite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369028)

If a patent is going to be valid, it's going to be specific enough that workarounds or alternative solutions could exist. You don't patent having solved a problem. You patent the way you solved it.

Every software patent I've read patents an astronomical number of solutions. They do it by adding "claims" which modify existing claims with different implementations. The goal clearly being to cover every possible implementation.

Florian Mueller is a TROLL (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368056)

Florian Mueller blog is a fake. Some call this astroturfing. All he does is spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) about Android (Linux). His blog was setup for journalists to point to because journalists have to point to other sources of information for their articles. And it seems to be working because I have seen CNN and other news outlets point to it. Shame on you CNN.

Only guessing here, but Florian seems to be paid by Microsoft somehow to say these things. He even has written against IBM for the sake of Microsoft crushing IBM's mainframe business.

His blog is misnamed - it should read what his intentions are - Anti-FOSS Blog.

Re:Florian Mueller is a TROLL (1)

king_grumpy (1685560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368276)

Only guessing here, but Florian seems to be paid by Microsoft somehow to say these things. He even has written against IBM for the sake of Microsoft crushing IBM's mainframe business.

His blog is misnamed - it should read what his intentions are - Anti-FOSS Blog.

The grumpy old TROLL lives under the bridge. Let's not FUD the TROLL by giving him any more clicks on his page.

Re:Florian Mueller is a TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369732)

Does someone have any info that directly links this guy with MS?

Would be good to completely discredit this idiot.

Re:Florian Mueller is a TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369886)

Journalists don't have money just to pay other journalists to substantiate their articles with others.

Does Oracle? Maybe, but their battles are long term PR perception so it's unlikely this early in the case.

More likely are investment groups who are planning on selling their Oracle shares soon and want to get the stock price up or investors who have sold Google short and need to get the stock price down. They need action and publicity now, and they have the money to fund the research about certain perspectives and situations.

I know nothing about Florian Mueller though.

Florian Mueller is a SHILL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368338)

FM is to Oracle as Rob Enderle is to SCO, a pathetic sellout to *anyone* that will give him money. He's nothing but a cocaine slut.

Tag and filter (2)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368358)

Can we have a "florian mueller" tag, and something to filter out articles tagged "florian mueller"?

Re:Tag and filter (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368440)

A nice troll icon would be good.

I am sure we all have a few suitable pictures we could submit for something like this.

Re:Tag and filter (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368510)

What we need are editors that *edit*. Why does an article where the only cited source is a discredited bomb-thrower even make it through the queue?

Seriously, guys, quit wasting your time on repeatedly rewriting the UI and work on something that matters: fix the editing process.

Re:Tag and filter (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368840)

Or better yet, not post them at all on /. the troll hardly deserves the traffic from the few people here that actually RTFA.

And this is why my next project will use Java! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368428)

No, wait, I meant "avoid Java like the plague." My bad. Instead we're looking into more open solutions, like .Net.

(Just kidding. But seriously, we're looking into replacing Java with Python and Ruby on Rails as appropriate. Yes, we have client Java apps. Bleck.)

What do revenues have to do with it? (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368496)

RIAA sues someone for downloading a few songs. Where is the revenue from that.

It seems real/imaginary damages are more important that revenues.

Re:What do revenues have to do with it? (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368870)

I took that line as giving context to the number, rather than the judge basing it on the revenue from Android.

What's new here? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369030)

So if Oracle wins, they could get a large amount of money from Google, and Google would be forced to rewrite the VM to be non-infringing.

This all has been true for a few months now. What's the news, exactly?

Re:What's new here? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369724)

What's the news, exactly?

Florian Mueller is getting rich from from spreading FUD.

That's the only piece of solid fact that I got out of TFA.

Next big evil corp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369072)

Once Sony's thoroughly humiliated, Oracle would make a nice target for LulzSec.

Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369484)

Greed from both sides, however in part I will support Google's fight to continue with Andriod on the basis that I strongly feel, as a developer, that 'reusing' code (at least fragments of) is not at all like physically stealing a patented invention or part of. If I personally write a few lines of code to perform a task (a common task with a logical solution) then should I be surprised if someone else produces code to perform the same task in exactly the same, or extremely similar, way?

Also I cannot support Oracle's stance that it is entitled to monies (50% or greater) from the creation of a successful product, simply because they bought a company that produced a small portion of a contributing item of the product. They did not create, promote, or sell the product themselves, and therefore should not be entitled to anywhere 50% of any revenue gained. Damages are also hearsay as they most likely wouldn't have developed a product like this themselves anyway.

Whats infringing (1)

corvax (941506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369500)

Wont what EXACTLY is infringing come to light during the trial? And couldnt the community be able to have non infringing code written before a decision is even handed down?

Re:Whats infringing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36370164)

LOL - People working for free so that Google can make billions.

Florian Mueller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369784)

Known troll who couldn't get laid in a convention of hookers with a $100 bill stuck in his mouth.....consider the source and remember this is the same guy^H^H^Hidiot that blogged about SCO

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