Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Did Google Knowingly Violate Java Patents?

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain dept.

Android 148

jfruhlinger writes "Opponents of software patenting have been rather heartened by recent developments in the Oracle-Google lawsuit, which have seemed to indicate that Oracle's patent case is weakening. But now the judge in the case has some sharp questions for Google, given that Google tried to negotiate with Sun over the patents in question before going on to develop Android without them."

cancel ×

148 comments

first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743242)

We negotiated -- I get first post, you get to suck my asshole, you faggot.

Re:first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743320)

Hi fellow, troll.
Here is another idea for you that I used once:

"I just took at dump on all slashdoters. Mod me down if you want a cumshot in the face"

Also, I post goatse links while hiding them behind url shorteners, and blogs. Works very well (more that 12,000 victims).

Also look at the angry responses I got:

  Funny:
"O neat, you quoted me! Now I have to ask, why do you do this? seriously whats the motivation?"
"1999 called they want their overused shock pictures back."
"Parent post is a goatsex picture. Do not follow. You're an asshole of the proportions in that picture."
"Link above is to goatse. Fuck you douchebag."
"Turn on TinyUrl previews. It saves lives."
"Ugh. Goatse. NSFW. Asshole (poster and picture, both)."
"Seriously ... new account to post that ... what a douche!"
"You're a fucking douchbag." - "That is the most accurate comment yet"
"Not gonna click it to find out, but I'd be surprised if parent's link wasn't goatse... It appears you would be correct sir. Why oh why do I always forget..."
"My word, what is wrong with your anus? I'd get that checked out."
"It's because of Assholes like you that I can no longer trust URL shorteners"
"Thanks, I'm reading slashdot in class like a good student and just got tubgirl'd."
"Watching second monitor, there was something wrong with the other screen. Control + w. Phew..."
"Hey family! Come look! They're opening the Google Talk client! Now, click here......" (sees goatse)
"I tried to post warnings about the goaste loving jerk yesterday but was modded into oblivion as a karma whore"
"Posting your picture online again?", "Really? Are you not tired of this yet?"
(Me posts goatse link and tells that it is SFW): "You mean NSFW asshole."
"Can you not afford normal entertainment?" "This is grown up talk, 4chan is that way ->"
"Oops. goatse link" - "The AC speaks truth! (Well I didn't let it finish loading, but the browser was connecting to goatse.ru...)"
"He likes his urinal cakes nice and sudsy, so he tries to piss us off."
"Link is Goatse" - "Thanks. Does nerd soccer attract nerd hooligans?"
"You must be really bored, eh? Take your shit somewhere else. We don't serve your kind around here."

Hate:
"Motherfucker. Some of us are at work and don't want to have a drilled out anus pop up on their fucking screen. Christ."
"BAN HIM!" "Ur a faggot for posting that."
"Death to all assholes - Let's put you first into the guillotine"
"You fucker" - "I had the same thought as you. What a fucking asshole. The link is nsfw."
"I hate your guts.", "WTF you fucking asshole.", "Fucking troll, do not click there"
"I hope you die in a fire before you are old enough to contaminate the gene pool."
"It would be more interesting if I had a piece of pipe and your face, in close proximity so I could smash your face beyond recognition,"
"Bravo teeny bopper. You're a really mature mother fucker (or do you prefer father fucking? Damn you homo erotic shittter)."
"Wait! I think I hear your mommy calling to give your tongue a good soap washing. And maybe she'll execute you too"
"I did not even bother to look, but this same idiot has been doing this for weeks now. Fuck off asshole."
"Asshole. literally. Goatse is so old. Grow up you fool."
"Asshole... Ginormous asshole, in fact." "Ugh. Goatse. You asshole."
"Better than you, you arse bandit." "You're a lowlife faggot piece of shit."
"Ah, a sheep troll. "Baaa! I post disgusting photos! Baaa!"
"I hate you"

"First time testemonies:
"Wow, all these years I managed to avoid seeing the goatse.cx guy, priding myself on my resilience to clicking on random image links from friends and trolls alike, taking comfort in the fact that I could identify a shock JPG based on a few lines of pixels while the holding the clipped window at the edge of my screen, and yet... now it's all for naught."

"After all these years, I finally fell for it. Just off to bleach my eyes.. thanks for that."
"Damnit, mod this guy up before GP gets any one else. My eyes, dear god my eyes, I'd managed not to see that until today!"
"WARNING: Don't click on the parent's link! Damn goatse! The first I experienced, no less.
"Parent is goatse. Dammit, and I've avoided it for a decade."
"ALERT ! goatse ya got me :("
"The fuck is a goatse? it's some dude pulling his arse open."

Testimonies:
"Well done. I haven't been suckered into a goatse link in years."
"Now *that* is how you goatse. Even got me, and I'm an oldfag."
"Long time since I've been rickrolled with goatse!"
"Goatse URL - Haven't seen that guy in a while"
"Damnit! nearly 15 years reading /. and I still fall in a goatse.cx trap !"
"Well played, sir. It's been a while since I've been Goatse'd"
"Congrats. It's been a long time since I saw goatse."
"Looks very open to me... (congrats, 'twas a while ago I was goatsed the last time)"

Strong emotion:
""No ads? Kwel!" click... "WTF!! My eyes!!!! rip.... them.... OFF!!"
"FUCK.YOU.ASS.HOLE."
"i WAS eating lunch you ass!"
"Oh dear god my eyes. Haven't seen THAT awful image in a while."
"My eyes are burning... argh! Damn you!"
"MY EYES... dude i am at work here "S "
"Oh goddammit. I didn't need that right before bed."
"Goatse warning! I'm still recovering."
"Please friends, I beg of you, do not click that link! Do not look at that image, whatever you do! It is a bad image! It is a goatse image."
"Man you made me barf .... disgusting little fellow the GOATSE Guy"

Dumbassess talking:
"Oh wow, retro-trolling. Soon we'll be back to page-widening, Steven King is dead and bell bottoms."
"Hey moron, try using different links."
"You fucking piece of shit!" , "You sorry piece of shit.", "You cunt.", "Fuck you." "Get fucked"
"What a retard..... enough said...." "Nice. Asshole."
"Yup, this is what your life amounted to. Posting goatse on Slashdot and collecting comment trophies."

Frustration:
"Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now."
"I am sick and tired of that crap on /. "
"Don't visit the link above, everyone. -sigh- Especially at work."
"Doh! One has to also recognize data urls. *sigh*"
"Damn! Mod this fucker to hell"
"*sigh* Goatse alert..."

Philosophy:
"Goatse trolls are getting better these days..."
"Why the sudden coordinated campaign for Goatse? Is someone making money off this?"
"You're right, this is the most coordinated troll campaign in a long time. Multiple accounts, multiple pages."
"Urgh...dammit, am I the only one thinking the goatse trolls are getting worse lately than they have been in the past five years?"
"Who found a way to monetize goatse at this late date? If we got half the effort of that campaign on real stuff we'd all have better software by now."
"Boy Goatsex is out in force today... - Every topic is littered with them..."
"You can't actually expect the Slashdot users to actually know enough not to respond to a goatse troll, right ?"
"Can we start banning people who post that hiding it behind a url shortening link like goo.gl?"
"How many times are you going to spam this link? Like we don't know where that goes......"
"The GP's post is just to get you to click a link with the Goatse man's picture on it."
"One of these days, this asshole gonna have a hard drive crash and lose his precious list, consigning his life's work to oblivion. He'll probably kill himself."

Admiration:
"Cool goatse link bro"
"Giggles. That made my day. Thank you."
"You are one dedicated troll."
"Well played, sir. Well played."
"A link that redirects to a page containing goatse? How clever of you!"
"Thank you for that informational link"
"Interesting use of Data URLs for Goatse linking."
"Nice Goatse dude"
"Good one, Sir."
"Nice link to have!"

Funny warnings:
Why the fuck would you post something like that? Warning to all: scatology in its worst form. Do not look.
"Would advise against clicking the link in the troll post above. Especially if you're at work atm."
"Link Warning!!! Not for those at work or of a nervous disposition, or even those bored with the stupid Goatse image."
"You really don't want to click the fundamental link, you'll be scarred for life."
"Above Link NSFW... The picture was just wrong... wrong..."
"WARNING! Above link is not something anyone wants to see!"
"Parent should be modded down. Link is NSFW and mentally scarring."
"High likelyhood of being a Goatse link. Proceed with caution"
"Didn't click it, but the magic 8-ball says goatse."
"Danger, goatse" "Don't click the link! Goatse wannabe."
"Someone please mod this guy down... Don't click his link."

Misc:
"Just post the damn url, i'm not going to click on a tinyurl link and get goatse'd or something.."
"That's somewhat clever, but some of us do know what base-64 encoding is."
"Could not someone at slashdot write a small script to blacklist url's that have been flagged troll? I'll do it if you pay me a slave wage..."
"Mod to -1, please. this guy is an 'asshole'.... (yes, you guessed it)"

Re:first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743398)

I got around to "philosophy" when I had a severe case of the tl;dr and decided to leave you with these parting comments:

First, you didn't even post the link. Fuck, it's been forever since I've actually been goatsied, and for nostalgia's sake I wanted to visit the site. Just for the heck of it. Well, lo and behold, goatse.cx [goatse.ru] doesn't even exist anymore. But I took a hint from you (the part that I did read, anyway) and hit goatse.ru [goatse.ru] instead. That's an awful fucking lot of work just to see a huge stretched asshole.

Second, I actually did have a second thing to post, but I can't for the ass of me remember it now. It took me too long finding goatse, and typing that first thing. Oh well.

OH. I remembered the second thing. It was... nothing personal, but I'd love to cut your eyeballs out, take a phillips-head screwdriver to your fingernails, a hammer to your testicles, and have the three tools at my disposal to otherwise wreak havoc as I saw fit on whatever was left of you. But as I said, don't take that personally.

Yes (1)

secretsquirel (805445) | about 3 years ago | (#36743244)

ssis, case closed

First post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743248)

10 years here and I'm finally first :)

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743278)

Well... I am sorry but I have some bad news for you!

Re:First post! (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 3 years ago | (#36743340)

"I'm going to Disneyland!"

Re:First post! (1)

secretsquirel (805445) | about 3 years ago | (#36743384)

lol3rdpost

waiting for details (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#36743276)

may have been a simple "we see you have patented xyz, would you consider our doing abc a violation, and if so, what's licensing going to cost?"

answer may have been along the lines of "pretty much anything you do we may try to sue you for, so you'd be better off paying us a ton of money upfront now". "OK, no thanks, we'll take our chances in court."

Or it may have been something completely different. But that's just my guess.

Re:waiting for details (5, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | about 3 years ago | (#36743434)

where was the "florian mueller contributed to the article" and it's completely unreliable warning?

This isn't about groklaw, but nothing shows for the judge asking anything other than telling Oracle to explain where it's magic numbers came from [groklaw.net] . Oh and potentially google seeking discovery sanctions on oracle but it has not been raised by google. [groklaw.net] That's about it. If this had actually linked groklaw somewhere, which it didn't. There is no "danger" for google in any form, nor did the judge imply it was plausible that google did anything. Where does TFS or the article make that shit up?

The only person who filed today was google, not the judge. So where does this shit come from? This article is fud.

Re:waiting for details (3, Funny)

dch24 (904899) | about 3 years ago | (#36743592)

Does a headline that ends in a question mark set off your red flags?
Can I convince you to buy this bridge I'm selling by hinting at it using a question?
What if I cobble together a tiny tidbit of info from groklaw with a really inflammatory headline, will slashdot publish it?

I hope Oracle's lawyers get fired for this case.

is robmalda a terrorist axe murderer? (2)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#36743648)

its a legitimate question.

think about the last time you saw robmalda.

now think about the last time someone got murdered with an axe.

coincidence?

you see, it all goes back to Woodrow Wilson...

Re:is robmalda a terrorist axe murderer? (1)

dch24 (904899) | about 3 years ago | (#36743810)

I laughed! Thanks for that.

oblig (2)

Short Circuit (52384) | about 3 years ago | (#36744068)

Does a headline that ends in a question mark set off your red flags?
Can I convince you to buy this bridge I'm selling by hinting at it using a question?
What if I cobble together a tiny tidbit of info from groklaw with a really inflammatory headline, will slashdot publish it?

You decide!

Re:waiting for details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743598)

It's ITworld, what do ya expect? They're sensationalist spammers with incompetent journalists. The only thing they are adept at are spamming the aggregators like Slashdot/blogs/Fark/whatever. Seriously, when was the last time there was an article on here that was from a decent tech site like Anandtech or Ars or something. All this ____World spam is really draggin Slashdot into the shitter (and has been for about the past 2? years).

Re:waiting for details (1)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#36743676)

There is no "danger" for google in any form, nor did the judge imply it was plausible that google did anything.

Uh...

"In reading the Daubert briefing, it appears possible that early on Google recognized that it would infringe patents protecting at least part of Java, entered into negotiations with Sun [Microsystems] to obtain a license for use in Android, then abandoned the negotiations as too expensive, and pushed home with Android without any license at all," Alsup wrote in the letter filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Re:waiting for details (2)

wrook (134116) | about 3 years ago | (#36744940)

I think the point is that if you google for the words in the letter, they don't show up anywhere except the article. I don't really understand this stuff but since other articles filed by the court are available on the web, wouldn't this letter also be there? Maybe I should use a different search engine (ha ha!). Groklaw also hasn't reported this letter either.

Furthermore, doing more searches I can't find anyone else reporting this letter except TFA (although a *lot* of sites have reprinted it or linked to it). Is it possible that the article is completely untrue? No idea, but personally I'd like to see a little more verification of the facts.

Re:waiting for details (1)

Pedant (75947) | about 3 years ago | (#36744010)

where was the "florian mueller contributed to the article" and it's completely unreliable warning?

It was right above the article summary:

from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain dept.

Re:waiting for details (-1, Troll)

williamhb (758070) | about 3 years ago | (#36744412)

This isn't about groklaw, but nothing shows for the judge asking anything other than telling Oracle to explain where it's magic numbers came from [groklaw.net] . Oh and potentially google seeking discovery sanctions on oracle but it has not been raised by google. [groklaw.net] That's about it. If this had actually linked groklaw somewhere, which it didn't. There is no "danger" for google in any form, nor did the judge imply it was plausible that google did anything. Where does TFS or the article make that shit up?

The only person who filed today was google, not the judge. So where does this shit come from? This article is fud.

Because as we all know, it's what happens on Pamela Jones's blog [groklaw.net] , not what happens in court, that matters. I mean, the IT World article has some direct quotes from the letter they are describing, but Pamela Jones didn't say it, and that's what matters.

Re:waiting for details (0)

poetmatt (793785) | about 3 years ago | (#36744428)

because as we all know, you're a troll who apparently doesnt' even know she doesn't write the articles there anymore for the most part, and that's why you trolled your post pretty spectacularly.

Re:waiting for details (-1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#36744800)

Just another fucktard SCO investor pissed off at PJ and Groklaw. You see, fucktards usually blame everyone else for their own fucktardness.

Re:waiting for details (0, Redundant)

sproketboy (608031) | about 3 years ago | (#36743814)

Ahh yet another Google apologist. We'll be seeing a lot of that in this thread.

Re:waiting for details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36744076)

Why should any of us be bothered going into details when you can't be bothered to Bing search for Dalvik and Java to see just how different they really are.

Re:waiting for details (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about 3 years ago | (#36743840)

Recent patent law rulings have made staying supposedly, deliberately ignorant of what the competition does in the same field less and less of a defense. Depending on just what the questions were, we may well be seeing the capstone case where several district courts have, between them, created an interpretation where the defending side is always "damned if they do, damned if they don't" regardless of the equities of the situation. If the questions were anything like you suggested, expect this one to be the case that has to go to SCOTUS for final resolution.
     

My Opinion... (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#36743324)

Is that, given that patents are uh subjective, AND that Sun was quite a nice company to open source stuff (that's the impression I have), I think Google said:

"Hmm, if we do X, we might hit on a patent and get a lawsuit, lets see if we can clear it off with Sun, since they're reasonable".

Then when Oracle bought Sun, pretty more for the patents, they decided to take a risk.

That's my opinion on this matter. I don't know anything internally.

Don't be evil... (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 3 years ago | (#36743808)

If Sun was such a nice company, it became more incumbent, not less, for Google to send a few $million their way, don't you think?

Sun open sourced Java, but not for mobile.

Actually, even if they had, if Google wanted to truly be "not evil", they would have found a way to give some money to a staggering, but highly innovative company.

The only problem with that would be shareholders who would whine, "Why are you giving free money away when you don't have to?"

The fig leaf to protect Google from the "not increasing shareholder value" charge would have been the Sun patents.

Unfortunately, Google chose to ignore them.

Re:Don't be evil... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 3 years ago | (#36743936)

Is there a specific place where Sun said they exclude Java on mobile stuff?

Re:Don't be evil... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36743978)

ob disc: I used to work at sun.

I heard mr java himself give a talk (I think it was at the java 10th anniv party at the santa clara campus, a few yrs back) and he seemed to say that mobile java (something about south america, too, I didn't quite get that) was a HUGE thing for sun. almost the reason for java to exist (the way he talked about java on mobile phones).

bonus: I found 2 photos that I took from that event:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/221/472512518_4f70840cd2_z.jpg [flickr.com]
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/202/472513502_682f02afc2_z.jpg [flickr.com]

enjoy ;)

Re:Don't be evil... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 years ago | (#36744216)

I once heard 'Mr. Java' talk about how Oak was going to run on television remote controls and make them better. It may be that one of the reasons for Android's success is that Google was finally able to build a very good Java runtime for mobile. Or perhaps the hardware just finally got powerful enough, but it's a far cry from the microcontroller or 'java processor' design concept.

Re:Don't be evil... (1)

Briareos (21163) | about 3 years ago | (#36745554)

I once heard 'Mr. Java' talk about how Oak was going to run on television remote controls and make them better.

Well, if it weren't for Android I'm pretty sure we still wouldn't have Java-based TV remotes [android.com] ...

Re:Don't be evil... (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 3 years ago | (#36745480)

This is pretty generally know if you've been following Java, but since you ask:

The Java Runtime license [redhat.com] states:

"Software embedded in or bundled with industrial control systems, wireless mobile telephones, wireless handheld devices, kiosks, TV/STB, Blu-ray Disc devices, telematics and network control switching equipment, printers and storage management systems, and other related systems are excluded from this definition and not licensed under this Agreement."

As for the open source release, that's covered under the Java Language Spec patent grant.

That only covers fully-conforming versions, not sub or supersets.

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Java_and_patents [swpat.org]

It was Sun's intention to give Java away on the desktop, and charge for embedded use.

Probably (1, Insightful)

garethw (584688) | about 3 years ago | (#36743334)

Who cares? How does Google's leveraging off Java deprive Sun revenue from its R&D? You know, like what patents are intended for? Fucking lawyers. Unable to create any real value themselves, they resort to contriving some for themselves by destroying it for many others. Utterly, utterly ignoble profession.

Re:Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743378)

Fucking lawyers. Unable to create any real value themselves, they resort to contriving some for themselves by destroying it for many others. Utterly, utterly ignoble profession.

Emphasis mine. Back at 'ya. Spoken like someone who never had IP or made a living off of a product. Sorry, gotta run and tie some cables together with "hook and loop tape".

Re:Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743576)

Obviously you were unable to comprehend his post.

Re:Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743636)

Speaking as someone who does have IP and makes a living off of a concept I designed over 5 years ago, which in all cases i should actually patient. My sentiment is this ...

If I'm not to use something I've created in a certain way yet someone yields a redeemable use for it that I'm unaware of. Good for them! Myself or the people I've entrusted to help develop our technology should of been there thinking it up first and if not then something is wrong on our end.

Problem with us Geeks we're a bunch of "doers" and not really good on the whole "visionary" sides of things.

Cases such as this make me think that Sun is the angry geek who couldn't see past their own technical brilliance, and Sun as a company is run by some very brilliant minds. Google perhaps not run by people of the same distinction yet still pretty good at what they do. Google used their keen marketing focus and this is something we all have to remember about Google _they are_ in effect a _marketing firm_ above all. You take away the R&D and the Geeks and all you got is a bunch of Fuseball tables, Beanbags and some very wanky extroverted marketing people (same can be said about FB).

Google will keep doing this, if the source is open they'll take it, if the source is closed they usually buy it. Above all, if its new, if its groovy and if it can be used to affect a lot of lives, Google will try it on for themselves.

All that will happen from this is that Google will pay reparations and everyone will move on. Patient law which does help inventors claim money on their intellectual contribution is massively abused these days, E.G Apple wants to sue anyone who makes a rectangular phone. I do at the end of the day trust in Suns "inner geek" on this one and put it in the "not so bad pile" :)

Re:Probably (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 3 years ago | (#36743404)

If I'm an inventor why should I have to build a factory? Not everyone wants to be an end-to-end mega-corporation. Maybe even a mega-corporation invests a lot of time and money into something and discovers it's not a product they want to sell but is still valuable and could be offered by someone else?

I have an application that I wrote that we aren't using at the company any more. That doesn't mean I can just take that application and start selling it. My employer spent a lot of money on development. We have no interest in commercializing it since we aren't a software company. But if someone wanted to license it and support/resell it we would be happy to profit from it.

If I were to write a book the person who prints the book should have to pay me for the IP. The writing is what has value. A book printed full of jibberish is mostly useless. The "R&D" that went into writing the manuscript is what is valuable.

Re:Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743522)

We have no interest in commercializing it since we aren't a software company. But if someone wanted to license it and support/resell it we would be happy to profit from it.

So with no intention of making money from it yourself, if others use it as core technology to an item they sell, you should reap rewards? If only the inventor of plastic patented that idea.

Does this mean every peice of Java software written should owe Oracle money?

Whatever happened to the idea of 'for the beneift of society'.

I agree with the ideal that if you create something (IP) you should be credited for it. However IMO I feel greater pride just knowing that something I've created is being used freely by the masses. If I had no real source of income I'd probably want some kind of $$$ for 'helping out', but otherwise i wouldn't care. In this case, given Oracles already large revenue and profit, this is pointless profiterring.

Re:Probably (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#36743946)

So with no intention of making money from it yourself, if others use it as core technology to an item they sell, you should reap rewards?

Sure, why not?

If only the inventor of plastic patented that idea.

He did [wikipedia.org] .

Though you do have a point here in that many patents today (esp. software ones) are overly broad. With plastics, what's patented is the particular compound, not the general idea of polymerization. In case of Oracle, they patented some very generic VM implementation techniques. That they shouldn't be able to do so is a reasonable argument to make.

Does this mean every peice of Java software written should owe Oracle money?

No, since the language itself isn't patented. Most high-performance Java VMs, however, likely violate some of their patents.

Whatever happened to the idea of 'for the beneift of society'.

For the benefit of society, patents expire after 20 years, from which point on the invention is in the public domain. Since patent application is necessarily public, the process guarantees that invention will be available to all after expiration - the author could not conceal it. That is, indeed, the main point of patents - they're designed to make trade secrets redundant in many cases.

I agree with the ideal that if you create something (IP) you should be credited for it. However IMO I feel greater pride just knowing that something I've created is being used freely by the masses. If I had no real source of income I'd probably want some kind of $$$ for 'helping out', but otherwise i wouldn't care. In this case, given Oracles already large revenue and profit, this is pointless profiterring.

Are you, basically, saying that the rich should give out stuff for free, since selling it would be "profiteering" as they already "have enough"?

Re:Probably (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 3 years ago | (#36744504)

Whatever happened to the idea of 'for the beneift of society'.

People realized they can't go to the supermarket and tell the clerk they are taking this food 'for the benefit of society' since they did all their work 'for the benefit of society' and have no money.

Re:Probably (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#36743600)

patents != copyright.

and presumably your former employer broke even on the software they have no use for anymore? they'd have budgeted for that, right? if so, then any patents are a potential extra revenue stream, but certainly not the incentive to invent the software.

it would be similar to charging your local council for the privilege of collecting your garbage, because you have rights over that garbage.

did you perform a patent search before writing it? (2)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#36743674)

because more likely than not, some of your code violates someones patents, and they could sue your company.

you thought that R&D was a positive, but now you could go bankrupt!

better to not invent anything at all.

yay capitalism.

Re:did you perform a patent search before writing (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36744014)

because more likely than not, some of your code violates someones patents, and they could sue your company.

its true; and as time goes on, it gets truer, still.

I've heard this said (forgot who said it, but he was a smart man) that a real reason why companies don't opensource things like drivers is because it only makes it easier for other trolls to look at their code and find, via coincidence or not, come patent violation.

so companies are *motivated* to not release source since it does give them protection.

in fact, it gives you and I protection, too.

think about the self-conflict in that! you want to release source but you dont' want to open yourself up to patent trolls.

lose/lose

Re:Probably (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 3 years ago | (#36743464)

Both of you seem to assume garethw is attacking the IP holders when, to me, it seems like he's attacking the lawyers that twist, bend, and distort law until it makes them fat loads of cash, helping few others in return. ie. The Lawyers buy boats, everyone else loses.

I don't necessarily believe IP/patents/etc should last as long as they do; 5 years tops and after that, public domain. however, the system has been so abused and corrupted that it's more harm than good at this point.

Re:Probably (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36743912)

Yes, because companies like Oracle are just tricked into lawsuits by lawyers so that they can lose money. Uhh, yeah you're full of shit.

Re:Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743922)

Don't forget that those lawyers are HIRED by people who create things of real value in order to protect it. A lawyer can't wedge his way into your house and make you pay his fees over a possible violation of your property. You're acting like Sun or Google is blameless in this case. You're dead wrong.

Re:Probably (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#36744394)

Who cares? How does Microsoft's leveraging off Java deprive Sun revenue from its R&D? FTFY.

Lets call a spade a spade folks, you can't say it is bad for one company because you don't like them but wonderful for a different company to pull the same shit because they make you squee like a fangirl.

Least expensive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743428)

Google probably thought that the patents were not valid, but thought that if it were least expensive to license them, they would do it that way. When it wasn't the least expensive way to do it, they chose to proceed and litigate.

Re:Least expensive (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 3 years ago | (#36743512)

This is damaging in the fact that Google knew that there were patent issues since they tried to seek licensing for them. If they then later claim that there are no patent issues, it shoots a big hole in their defense.

Re:Least expensive (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 3 years ago | (#36743692)

Except for the fact that software patents are so vague that it is impossible to tell what violates patents and what doesn't. Until we finally decide to abolish patents, no one can ever know for sure if something will be in violation of a patent or not.

Most likely Google asked Sun how much money it would cost to license the patent for X because Google had no possible way of knowing if something would violate that patent or not, obviously the price of "protection money" on something that may or may not be covered under the patent was too high so they decided to take their risks in court.

Re:Least expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743702)

What? At most it would prove willful infringement and raise the damages owed. AFAIK it would have no impact on the trial proceedings.

You're also ignoring the other possibility: that failing to license said patents, Google then intentionally worked around the patent claims (by inventing Dalvik, etc, etc).

Re:Least expensive (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#36744042)

In a world where the wheel, teasing a cat with a laser pointer, and swinging side to side on a swingset are patented, just getting up in the morning has potential patent issues.

There are many good reasons for Google to want to make sure their non-infringing work doesn't end up dragged in to court anyway. Apparently the "insurance" was way too expensive.

How does that in any way damage their case?

Re:Least expensive (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 3 years ago | (#36744140)

Probably due to the fact that they are being sued for infringement? Just a guess mind you....

A court can look at facts like these to determine intent, and if it does turn out that Google attempted to get licensing on the very items they are being sued on, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this will damage their case.

Re:Least expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36744168)

Intent doesn't really matter in copyright or patent infringement. In either scenario, the infringement occurred, the only question is unfair vs. fair damages. Furthermore, the patents must first be found valid, and Google must additionally be found to be infringing upon them, in order to determine willful infringement.

Re:Least expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36744226)

I think that's a given. It's just the fact that this could very well make this look like willful infringement if they are found to be violating said patents. A judge would be hard pressed to ignore this type of evidence in determining if it was willful.

Re:Least expensive (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#36744668)

The court could look at intent if it mattered to the case, but it can't just spin stories of guilt, it would have to have some factual evidence that the innocent interpretation isn't the true case. There isn't any that we know of.

Bench Litigation (1)

Cogent91 (2203516) | about 3 years ago | (#36743442)

I sincerely hope the Judge is smart enough to spot a failure of jurisprudence on behalf of the Patenting Authority. If these patents had been judged correctly the first time, this mess would never of had to been bothered with. I also can’t blame Google for disregarding unrealistic claims of property regarding common-sense programming advancements. The claims are likely rationally un-defendable, like nearly all software patents these days.

A better question (2, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | about 3 years ago | (#36743462)

Call me a dreamer, but instead of Did Google Knowingly Violate Java Patents? question, wouldn't it sound better better the Did Google know that SUN's patents were invalid and thus there was nothing to violate or pay for? or even Did Google know software patents are invalid?

Does Larry Ellison murder prostitutes? (1, Troll)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#36743690)

its a good question, think about the last time you saw larry ellison.

now think about the last time you saw a murdered prostitute.

coincidence?

Re:Does Larry Ellison murder prostitutes? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 3 years ago | (#36743780)

its a good question, think about the last time you saw larry ellison.

now think about the last time you saw a murdered prostitute.

coincidence?

Before using the "correlation/causation" meme, thanks for assuming I'm a good guy that never saw a murdered prostitute. While true in my case, it isn't necessarily to be so for all the readers of /. that never saw one of the two but actually saw the other - in such cases, your "coincidence question" will not even reach the "correlation/causation" stage.

I'm not sure however what you intend to suggest. I'm afraid of a suggestion on the line that "being a dreamer, one wishes that Larry Ellison would actually murder prostitutes" - I'd reject it immediately. Do you care to elaborate?

studies have shown (2)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#36744280)

that when a prostitute is murdered, someone has to have been the murderer.

critics point out that sometimes people are murdered without anyone actually murdering them.

(i.e. my elaboration is that headlines and news stories can be really, really wrong)

Re:studies have shown (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 3 years ago | (#36744654)

(i.e. my elaboration is that headlines and news stories can be really, really wrong)

Yes, you are right in this respect, even when you use totally improper argumentation.

that when a prostitute is murdered, someone has to have been the murderer.

Correct. You don't need studies (do they actually exist?), the simple definition of murder [wikipedia.org] is enough.

critics point out that sometimes people are murdered without anyone actually murdering them.

Those critics must be wrong. The murderer by the very definition of the term [wikipedia.org] has to be a person, thus someone (as opposed to anyone/nobody).

However, what is the relation of your elaboration (thanks for it) with my post? The post expressing the wish that Google chose to go ahead with Dalvik after, upon studies, they discovered the SUN patents as invalid? Or that I wish the idea of "patents for software" would be considered an oxymoron?

Re:Does Larry Ellison murder prostitutes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36744286)

Didn't you use that one already?

is decora an unimaginative hack? (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#36744484)

I'm Jim James. Next on Talk Town, we will have people on from both sides of the issue to discuss it. get your calls in! and now we pause for this break.

And we're back at Talk Town. the topic today is decora: unimaginative hack? we have EJ Jones from the Washington Center for Economic Progress, and Stavai Smith from the Institute for Freedom and Governance. Thank you both for being here.

- Thank you
-- Thank you

EJ why dont you go first. Is decora a worthless, mindless hack, filling up the internet with repetitive, pointless garbage?

- Jim, I think we really need to look critically, going forward, as to what the organizations and academics who have studied this issue have to say about it, because they are really the ones who will have to do the heavy lifting when it comes time to implement these policies.

Stavai, your response?

-- Well, Jim, what we have seen in the past, is that these systems have really brought about a need for more oversight and more intervention, because typically what you see in an environment of low interest rates is a move by policy makers to shift the burden from the rate payers to the bond holders. Typically that only happens when w

I'm sorry but we are out of time. I'd like to say thank you to my guests. EJ Jones from the Washington Center for Economic Progress, and Stavai Smith from the Institute for Freedom and Governance. Today we have been discussing decora: worthless hack, or enemy of the state? Thank you both for being here.

- Thank you. It's a pleasure
-- Thank you, Jim I always enjoy doing your show

Well, I always enjoy having you. Next week. Anonymous Cowards: are they all morbidly obese cat hoarders, wallowing in piles of old newspapers and feces until one day they are found dead by the landlord? My guests will be Noam Chomsky of MIT and Stephens Jameson from the Initiative for Coalitions and Repercussions.

This, is NPR. National Public Radio.

Re:is decora an unimaginative hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36745024)

Yes, s/he is [slashdot.org]

Agreed, a very good question. (1)

Cogent91 (2203516) | about 3 years ago | (#36743914)

" in order for an invention to be patentable, it must not only be novel, but it must also be a nonobvious improvement over the prior art" - http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/requirements.html#nonobvious [bitlaw.com] No joke, the "Upgrade" button is a patent the United States Patent and Trademark Office is currently holding as a protected I.P.. They've clearly failed to perform their due diligence regarding what are technical innovations versus only Trade Secrets. I believe the root of this problem is due to the exponentially faster timescales that complexity now shifts to merely being novelty. The speed of development in software fields is unprecedented and old schools of thought for decades long protections are antiquated. Considering the USPTO was designed to handle the slow advancement of a paper age however, it should come as no surprise to anyone that a paper dinosaur of old bureaucratic methods can't keep up.

An even better question (1)

turing_m (1030530) | about 3 years ago | (#36744874)

"Patents, eh?", he asked him knowingly.

Just more Florian Mueller FUD (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | about 3 years ago | (#36743466)

This is not news. Yes, google sought a green light from sun. So what? Dalvik is not Java, which is an insurmountable hurdle.

Re:Just more Florian Mueller FUD (2)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#36743686)

Well, shit, who needs a court system when "Barbara, not Barbie" of Slashdot has dismissed the case?

Re:Just more Florian Mueller FUD (1)

fidget42 (538823) | about 3 years ago | (#36743708)

More appropriately, Dalvik is not the JVM. Dalvik does run Java, compiled to Java byte code then converted for the Dalvik engine.

No! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 3 years ago | (#36743986)

I agree with you on all issues save for the fact that, ``...Dalvik does run Java...``

Since this is Slashdot, the more accurate thing to say would be to mention,

``Dalvik runs programs written in the Java programming language...``

Re:No! (1)

fidget42 (538823) | about 3 years ago | (#36744278)

I stand corrected. You out pedanticed me :)

Re:No! (2)

drb226 (1938360) | about 3 years ago | (#36744950)

But it also runs anything else that targets the JVM, so it also runs JRuby, Mirah, Scala, Jython, etc.

Re:Just more Florian Mueller FUD (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36743900)

Dalvik is not Java, which is an insurmountable hurdle.

Which means jack and shit. The patent, if held to be valid, in no way is only applicable if the implementation is of the Java language.

Judicial mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743472)

What an absolute joke of a judge apparently is on this case.

First, any type of negotiation should never be admissible at all. That's completely against the concept of negotiating in the first place. Why would Google ever attempt to negotiate if it knows it can be used against them? Why would Sun/Oracle ever budge off of a ridiculous amount if the judicial system is going to assume that the mere act of negotiating means that Google "knew of their violation"?

Google has a pretty easy answer for the stupid question - "we figured it might be cheaper to shut them up with money rather than paying for lawyers" when it apparently became cheaper to take their chance in court they moved along. Why exactly is this some admission of guilt?

Every day the courts seem to take one step forward and two steps back.

Re:Judicial mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743518)

Heh. That's a fair answer, actually.

"Why did we try negotiating? Well, your Honor, we thought it might be cheaper to just pay off the crooks than it would be to come here."

Re:Judicial mess (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#36743734)

As sound as legal analysis from an anonymous poster on pro-Google Slashdot must be, I'm afraid you're not as persuasive as you think you are. What's happening is that the judge is pressuring both parties to reach a settlement, which is probably what's going to happen.

Re:Judicial mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36745018)

Well then how about you have a look at Federal Evidence Rule 408

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode28a/usc_sec_28a_04000408----000-.html

And more specifically as to a more detail breakdown of the motivation behind the rule

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode28a/usc_sec_28a_04000408----000-notes.html

"The evidence is irrelevant, since the offer may be motivated by a desire for peace rather than from any concession of weakness of position."

In other words - "we figured it might be cheaper to shut them up with money rather than paying for the lawyers"

I don't think so. (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 3 years ago | (#36743488)

I think they just tried to work around the only profitable aspect of Java. I'm sure if they thought they would be liable and have to pay for it, they would have just used something else. Not to mention that using Java was more like doing Sun a favor than anything else, despite the implementation. It kept Java relevant while Sun was dying. Google also helped popularize OpenOffice.

I think Sun should have filed the suit before being bought by Oracle. I've heard arguments that they couldn't afford to or whatever, but it still seems as if they implied approval for what Google was doing by not filing the suit themselves. Because Sun didn't file a suit against Google, Oracle just looks like a troll.

How will the court interpret all this? Who knows in these patent cases? This may be redundant, but the patent system is seriously flawed when it comes to software. It gets repeated so much because it's true and it's the root problem in most of these lawsuits.

But what is implied by negotiations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743534)

Knowing you might be sued by a patent troll != knowing you might violate their patents.

seems the wrong way round (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | about 3 years ago | (#36743554)

Isn't the more logical interpretation that google saw that java already had a history in the mobile space, and rather than re-invent the wheel decided it would be cheaper and simpler to use a java VM, and went to sun to licence the patents needed to do that. That failed, so they said 'alrighty then' and wrote the clean-room dalvik VM which differs from java in a lot of key design decisions. Isn't that how the patent system is supposed to work?

If they'd tried to licence the java patents AFTER they'd written dalvik, that'd be a lot more damning.

Re:seems the wrong way round (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743634)

If I recall correctly, they decided to use dalvik VM instead of Java ME to save cost, ie, so they dont need to pay a license for each mobile device, which is costly considering if you want to run that on each mobile device.

Re:seems the wrong way round (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743876)

Isn't that how the patent system is supposed to work?

No. Doing clean-room reverse engineering is something applicable to get around allegations of copyright infringement. Has nothing to do with patents.

Slashdot trolled by Florian Mueller once again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743568)

From TFA:

Overall, Alsup seems to be increasing the pressure on both Oracle and Google to settle, according to Florian Mueller, a blogger who closely tracks open-source software legal matters.

"Yesterday's order concerning the possibility of a staywas bad news for Oracle," Mueller said via e-mail. "Today's notice looks like a clear signal to Google that they should recognize their obligation to pay. But the problem is that Oracle's demands are apparently way above anything that Google could pay without changing its Android business model from 'free-of-charge' to 'fee-based.' I don't know whether Oracle will reduce its demands substantially in order to enable a near-term settlement."

Slashdot's bogeymen (1)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#36743750)

There's an irritating trend in Slashdot discussions to cite bogeymen to dismiss any news that may be negative toward some protagonist of the community, such as Google. "Oh, there's a statement from Florian Mueller, so the entire article is FUD even though the judge really did ask those questions in his letter. I'm not listening, la-la-la."

Patent "First Post" (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 3 years ago | (#36743640)

Maybe this has been tried... But if Oracle or Google or Microsoft... Someone with these lawyers on retainer... Will please patent or reverse patent or trademark "first post" and kindly sue Anonymous, we slashdoters will be eternally grateful and go red sox.

Is it just me? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 3 years ago | (#36743664)

Or am I alone in the belief that the current patent system is a royal pain in the ass and needs to be scrapped?

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743786)

That's putting it rather lightly, don't you think?

Ben Franklin is smarter than you, or I, and.... (1)

crhylove (205956) | about 3 years ago | (#36743844)

...DEFINITELY smarter than the corporate trolls making this patent mess.

"... as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."

How his ideas didn't come to more fully pervade our nascent and now crumbling and corrupt democracy, I shall never know.

Re:Ben Franklin is smarter than you, or I, and.... (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 3 years ago | (#36744500)

patents only serve the interests of the individual who owns them.

On the other hand, the removal of patents would probably de-motivate people from releasing inventions at all.

We need some middle ground, most likely in the form of a maximum patent term of only a couple of years so that the inventor gets a head start, but no more...and after 2 years, everyone benefits.

Why should everyone benefit? because technological advancement is a higher goal than just getting rich.

Re:Ben Franklin is smarter than you, or I, and.... (1)

crhylove (205956) | about 3 years ago | (#36744788)

Agreed. Both copyright and patent should be limited to no more than 5 years. If you can't make money by then, go and invent something else you lazy bastard!

Shakedown (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 3 years ago | (#36743926)

A rational reason to inquire about patents you don't think you actually violate is to avoid being shaken down by a patent troll about them. As the tangled web of patent lawsuits in the industry indicates, the likelihood of an illegitimate shakedown is worth a great deal of vigilance. How many companies pay out hundreds of millions a year in licensing of illegitimate patents because they figure it's cheaper than litigating and losing a lawsuit lottery?

need a tag (1)

sitkill (893183) | about 3 years ago | (#36743934)

muelleralert, so i know when to avoid the article.

All Smart Phones Infiringe (3, Interesting)

paulsnx2 (453081) | about 3 years ago | (#36744032)

Nobody sells a high tech product without knowing that it infringes on some patent you don't own or have license to!!!

EVERY SINGLE COMPANY that ships a smart phone today, KNOWS that they are infringing on a patent held by someone else!

There are over 50 companies that hold at least 300 patents each covering smart phone technology. Who knows how many companies hold patents over various manufacturing technologies used. There are thousands of patents out there on many very basic software techniques. IBM, Motorola, HP, Intel, Apple, HTC, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, all hold thousands of patents that more or less apply to Smart phones and computers. And there are tons more. These are the guys that produce products. Many, many patents are held by trolls that produce nothing but lawsuits.

How then can any company hope to build a product that is free and clear of patents?

If knowing you might have patent issues means something significant, then ban all high tech products! Including frankly most medicines. Including every modern car. Including every T.V. Including ever significant piece of software!

In light of this rather obvious fact, what is the point this Judge is trying to make? How is any product any different?

Re:All Smart Phones Infiringe (1)

mochan_s (536939) | about 3 years ago | (#36745124)

EVERY SINGLE COMPANY that ships a smart phone today, KNOWS that they are infringing on a patent held by someone else!

I wouldn't say KNOWs. Software patent claims are vague and general that violations are open to interpretation.

Also there are so many software patents out there that have 50-60 claims where most claims that are obvious. You could implement something and that would violate a patent you didn't know existed.

Re:All Smart Phones Infiringe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36745576)

As a patent defense litigator, I can assure you that you can't infringe invalid patents. And every patent I've had to defend against is invalid because its obvious or the result of fraud. :)

Of course, all the patents my clients own are technological milestones that the other side blatantly and knowingly has plundered in its greed.

It's probably just about willfulness (1)

pem (1013437) | about 3 years ago | (#36744454)

If any patent is valid and infringed, then google may have some 'splainin to do about why they didn't think it was.

This line of questioning might have nothing at all to do with whether any of the patents are actually valid or infringed. It might just have to do with whether, if it was done, it was done willfully.

OTOH, it may be the judge's strategy to try to get google thinking about possible treble damages. He's probably trying for anything that might lead to a sooner settlement and cut his workload.

Re:It's probably just about willfulness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36744722)

If any patent is val-

*choke* what?

mod 3own (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36744576)

continues in a surprise to the very sick and its and exciting; despite the ww.anti-slash.org how it was supposed off the play area Our chances

Trivial answer (1)

e70838 (976799) | about 3 years ago | (#36745450)

Google has tried to negotiate the right to use the patents. As it has failed, Google has done all the technical possible efforts (dalvick, ...) in order to avoid patent violation and still have a fast and usable language.
I think that Google has been very creative to keep the language syntax and the libraries almost identical (they are both patent free) and to not copy any other aspects of Java.
If a real patent (not trivial, ...) has still been violated, either it is a small violation that could be fixed by a small technical change, either this makes void all the work of Google and this removes all the point in having language syntax and libraries free.
In fact, I do not see any acceptable justification of a win of Oracle in this match. IMHO Google must win or all the legal system is rotten.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...