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Oracle Ordered To Lower Damages Claim On Google

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the that's-why-they-overreach-to-start dept.

Android 204

CWmike writes "Oracle has been ordered to lower its multibillion-dollar claim for damages in its patent infringement lawsuit against Google and its Android operating system, court papers show. Oracle's expert 'overreached' in concluding that Google owed up to $6.1 billion in damages for alleged infringement of Oracle's Java patents, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup said Friday in a sternly written order. The 'starting point' for Oracle's damages claim should be $100 million, adjusted up and down for various factors, he said. At the same time, Google was wrong to assert that its advertising revenue is not related to the value of Android and should therefore not be a part of Oracle's damages, the judge wrote. He also warned Google, 'there is a substantial possibility that a permanent injunction will be granted' if it is found guilty of infringement."

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Language (3, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859500)

What are the chances that Google will:

1) alter the way the Dalvik VM works such that the same source will execute differently, although producing the same results, so that app developers code continues to work, or

2) launch a new language for developing Android apps, but with a conversion tool to take existing source and turn it into whatever the new language looks like (some other variant on c/java/whatever...lets face it they're all practically identical nowadays)?

Re:Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859516)

There's already a "new language". It's called Go (www.golang.org).

Re:Language (2)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859572)

And it's terribly slow by comparison to the other options. Even according to their own research [computing.co.uk] .

Re:Language (1)

fuzzytv (2108482) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859608)

Yes, brainfuck is much faster [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck] and it's not bloated with the useless stuff (objects, classes, letters, digits).

Re:Language (5, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859814)

Yes, brainfuck is much faster [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck] and it's not bloated with the useless stuff (objects, classes, letters, digits).

Dude, seriously? Are you kidding? Brainfuck is horribly, incredibly bloated. For a real language without all the ridiculous bloat of Brainfuck, there's only one reasonable choice [dur.ac.uk]

Re:Language (1)

fuzzytv (2108482) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859922)

Oh my gosh, I'll show that to our customers on Monday. I bet we can switch all our apps to this language by Tuesday. It's so easy!

Re:Language (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859968)

I'd mod you up if I had points, was thinking the same thing.

Re:Language (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859632)

I'm not sure Go fits the bill...

Apparently it's more high level than C , but lower level than Java.

Sure, iPhone apps do ok with ObjC, I'm thinking Go has the same level of abstraction

Of course, the main Google mistake was using Java (not to be a Java hater here, but I think that the whole model around Java, as opposed as, for example, running mainly native code, or something else, came as a detriment).

Even with JNI, the main problem is all apps depend on JVM/Dalvik.

Re:Language (2)

robertl234 (787648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859696)

Google had no choice. They needed applications to be able to run on different types of hardware.

Re:Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859820)

They needed applications to be able to run on different types of hardware.

I still have to wonder why this isn't addressed at the publication point, e.g. native code downloads that come from a common intermediate-language image on the server. As someone who appreciated whole-program optimization in school, I guess I never understood why people were so fixated on VMs and just-in-time compilation. It seems obvious in a mobile scenario that you want to pre-compute the common analysis and optimization rather than having hundreds of thousands of mobile units repeating the same damn work.

Re:Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859824)

No they don't! They all run on ARM. Plus apple has had no problem making C, C++, Objective C, and Objective C++ binaries work on PowerPC, PowerPC 64, i686 and x86_64. Google shouldn't have any problems either.

Re:Language (1)

ulzeraj (1009869) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859900)

Because of XNU's Mach-o fat binaries. Linux and therefore Android uses ELF right?

Re:Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859974)

There is no reason why ELF couldn't be extended to support fat binaries. But it's a moot point. All android phones run on the same arm instruction set. There is some new vector extensions in the newer processors but the base instructions are still the same.

Re:Language (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860394)

x86 is an officially supported Android platform since recently (they've added NDK support for that, so you can put x86-compatible NDK apps into the Market, for example).

Re:Language (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859988)

I have no idea how well it works, but see FatELF [icculus.org] . Obviously it's not in wide use. But it does exist, apparently.

Re:Language (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859994)

Apple isn't at the mercy of 3 chip makers each with their own set of bugs/quirks at the NDK & platform level. Native Android dev is like native Windows dev... it works... except when it doesn't.

Re:Language (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860406)

Of course, the main Google mistake was using Java (not to be a Java hater here, but I think that the whole model around Java, as opposed as, for example, running mainly native code, or something else, came as a detriment).

Even with JNI, the main problem is all apps depend on JVM/Dalvik.

I think the main reason why they used Java is because it let them piggyback on the existing Java infrastructure - not just the compilers, but, much more importantly, the very powerful IDEs like Eclipse and NetBeans. Also, given how many Java programmers were out there already, they immediately had a wide audience for whom barrier to entry was very low (esp. compared to Apple's Obj-C/Cocoa combo).

Re:Language (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859628)

Buy Oracle - it's cheaper!

Re:Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859726)

Buy Oracle - it's cheaper!

Wow you are really smart!

Re:Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859956)

You're neglecting that Google already has it's own language, "Go", developed by Rob Pike.

Re:Language (1)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860224)

Wouldn't it be funny if Google started supporting Qt Quick / QML as an alternative to Davik and then encouraged QML app development? Google would end up fighting Nokia and Microsoft in the market using Nokia's technology.

I know it isn't going to happen, but there is a QML implementation supported on Android.

Re:Language (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860332)

When has Google ever successfully done something like this? Their products consist almost entirely on either products they bought (like Android) or by utilizing the works of others (Linux, WebKit).

Coming up with a drop-in replacement for Dalvik (or significantly altering it) is nowhere near as easy as your question implies, nor is it something Google has shown themselves proficient at doing.

Re:Language (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860400)

Actually, writing a VM that is as good as Dalvik (which isn't particularly impressive today, as far as optimizations go - nowhere near JVM, for example) is not hard. The problem is doing that in such a way that it doesn't infringe on Oracle's patents. That is very tricky.

Re:Language (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860386)

This isn't about the language at all, this is strictly about VM at this point.

And my understanding is that, if Oracle's patents are valid, it is very hard to create a high-performance VM without trodding on them - one patent in particular [google.com] is pretty much a patent for JIT-compiling bytecode.

Sun (3, Interesting)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859502)

And THAT is the answer to the question "why did Google not buy Sun". It is cheaper to just some nickels and dimes now. And I guess they didn't need Solaris.

Re:Sun (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859540)

They just reduced the cost of a settlement. A permanent injunction is still pretty bad. If they though there was a threat or wanted to pay that much, they could have just taken sun offer at the time for a 100mil.

Re:Sun (2)

robertl234 (787648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859740)

It cost Oracle $5.6 billion to buy Sun. I guess Google thought it was cheaper to deal with the lawsuit.

Re:Sun (2)

Johnny Doughnuts (767951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859764)

Think about how Sun would have taken a totally opposite direction if Google bought them. Instead of Sun starting to suck they're be pretty awesome by now.

Google was STUPID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859886)

With Sun, Google would had gotten a gigantic patent portfolio along with a highly successful technical with lots of ideas with potential.

That $6.5B investment would had being a drop in the bucket of money they could had made with everything they would had gotten with the purchase.

Re:Sun (1)

williamhb (758070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860118)

Given the effort Google have gone to to hire across an awful lot of Sun's staff since the transition, it does seem very strange they didn't just buy them in the first place, getting the staff, patents, and getting rid of the need to try to create a split between Dalvik and Java. I guess they just balked at buying the hardware side, but as I understood it they could have resold that part to HP fairly easily.

Re:Sun (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860338)

And THAT is the answer to the question "why did Google not buy Sun". It is cheaper to just some nickels and dimes now. And I guess they didn't need Solaris.

Not quite. The reason Google didn't buy Sun is that there's nothing of value for them that they would have gained other than Java. That's a lot of money to spend on just a small subset of Sun's value.

The rest of Sun in no way promotes any of Google's revenue streams.

snafu... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859530)

Oracle's expert 'overreached' in concluding that Google owed up to $6.1 billion in damages for alleged infringement of Oracle's Java patents, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup said Friday in a sternly written order. The 'starting point' for Oracle's damages claim should be $100 million, adjusted up and down for various factors, he said. At the same time, Google was wrong to assert that its advertising revenue is not related to the value of Android and should therefore not be a part of Oracle's damages, the judge wrote. He also warned Google, 'there is a substantial possibility that a permanent injunction will be granted' if it is found guilty of infringement."

In other words: Stop acting like a pair of brats!!! ... now shake hands ...

Good lord. (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859546)

I'd just like to be the first to say, "fuck Oracle".

I hope those bastards fade into irrelevance. I mean, what haven't they done to piss everyone off recently?

Re:Good lord. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859586)

considering everyone in the world uses their software, i doubt it. this is googles fault. they had the guacamole to buy sun but they didn't. in the end, google will owe they a lot cash and everyone will keep using their android phones and it will all work itself out :)

Re:Good lord. (1)

fuzzytv (2108482) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859648)

What would they get? A company that does not work well enough, with a lot of stuff they did not want/need. It's extremely difficult to rebuild such company and they've decided it's not worth the money and risk. For Google it's easier to build their engineering department, shaped to their needs. Right, the IP stuff might be interesting for them, especially regarding this battle with Oracle, but the game is not over yet.

Re:Good lord. (2)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859652)

Interesting point. One could say that Google is doing Oracle a favor by using Java in the platform. I can't think of ANY software on my PCs that are written in Java but my Android device is chock-full of it.

Re:Good lord. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859676)

I use 2 major Java apps. The first is Minecraft, aka "game that became insanely popular for a few months but has kinda faded away now". The second is GanntProject, a free and open-source project-management tool.

Other than those two, the only Java apps I have are the ones I wrote for a college class, which I haven't touched since I took said class.

Re:Good lord. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859692)

Let's hope they will abandon java and make a real linux phone, or a python phone :)

Re:Good lord. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860058)

Python? You want phone apps even slower than java?

Re:Good lord. (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859722)

About 50% of the applications I use at work are java based. So MMMV (My Mileage May Vary).

Re:Good lord. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859750)

Fuck Oracle? No fuck google. Hopefully the judge rules for a permanent injunction. That will teach google no to steal other people's work.

Re:Good lord. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859806)

Go back to bed, Larry.

Re:Good lord. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860352)

You can mod me down all you want but the judge is gonna rule in favor of Oracle because Google broke the law. Google is gonna pay for this.

Re:Good lord. (4, Funny)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860006)

I'd just like to be the first to say, "fuck Oracle".

I'm sorry to inform you but you are too late [lmgtfy.com] .

But-but judge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859550)

My client's CEO has in his office, along with a half-model America's Cup yacht and 18th century Japanese furniture, a large sign that says "THOSE CROOKS OWE US BILLIONS AND BILLIONS!"

Like an election, doesn't matter who wins (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859596)

All parties are recognizing software patents...

Re:Like an election, doesn't matter who wins (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859704)

Software patents do exist, so not recognizing them would be a sign of insanity. And unless they are unconstitutional, it's not the court's job to decide whether they should exist.

Re:Like an election, doesn't matter who wins (1)

robertl234 (787648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859752)

Actually it is the court's job to decide what is and isn't patentable. See the NPR story that was posted earlier today. It was the result of two court rulings in the 90s that allowed the patenting of software.

Re:Like an election, doesn't matter who wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859854)

No, it is the laws that decide what is and isn't patentable. The courts just interpret the laws.

Re:Like an election, doesn't matter who wins (3, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860110)

In the case of patents, actually, most of the US statutory principles behind patentability have their roots in judicial decisions stretching back almost 200 years in some cases, all of which stem from the Constitutional provision empowering Congress "To promote the Progress of... useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to... Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective... Discoveries."

Subsequent to various court decisions, Congress chose to codify most of those decisions in particular ways to further define certain requirements. There are a few cases where court decisions were countermanded by Congressional action, such as 35 USC 112, sixth paragraph, and the bit in 35 USC 103(a) about "patentability shall not be negatived...," but for the most part, when it comes to patentability, Congress has just gone along with what the courts have said.

Re:Like an election, doesn't matter who wins (3, Interesting)

robertl234 (787648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860114)

That's where you are wrong. In a common law [wikipedia.org] system, which US civil law is largely based on, law is created by the decisions of judges rather than the legislature.

Under attack from all sides. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859614)

Damn.

MS is patent trolling Android implementers. Apple is in on the act too, with HTC getting the blunt of the lawsuits. (Why them? Who knows ... Small company?; I'm excluding Samsung, what they have pulled is BS, that shameless company can DIAF. Google really should avoid publicly associating with them.)

From the looks of it, if you want to use Android, you better have the Benjamins to defend yourself. Come to think of it, it's really no different from rolling your own. Same risk, same benefits + some.

So much for a "free as in beer", "public property" open source OS. Patents will put an end to that.

Patents aren't about justice anymore, assuming they ever were, they are just weapons now ...
IMO there are no innocent parties in these, they would all do the same if they had the patents and money - OK maybe Google, but who knows how long that will last.

PS: Before anyone posts/asks, no we can't get rid of the patent system. Who the heck then will invest for capital intensive research like medicine and semi-conductor fab tech?

Re:Under attack from all sides. (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859706)

Who the heck then will invest for capital intensive research like medicine and semi-conductor fab tech?

Perhaps you're looking at it backwards. With patents out of the picture, there will be a need to do things much, much cheaper and innovation will drive towards increasing efficiency rather than how to protect your monopoly. I love it when the drug argument is used regarding patents. I just answer sarcastically: yeah, because acetyl salicylic acid (more commonly known as Aspirin) which has been out of patent since forever is a real money-loser. You will never find generic/store brand painkillers containing this product. Here ends the sarcasm. Pharmacy companies complain about all the billions it takes to make a new drug and fail to mention that drugs still sell long after the patents expire. It's not like Lipitor has been pulled from the shelves (patent just expired recently). Yeah there's competition - so what? For every Coke there's a Pepsi, for every McDonalds there's a Burger King. Suck it up and earn your money like everyone else.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859786)

yeah, because acetyl salicylic acid (more commonly known as Aspirin) which has been out of patent since forever is a real money-loser. You will never find generic/store brand painkillers containing this product. Here ends the sarcasm. Pharmacy companies complain about all the billions it takes to make a new drug and fail to mention that drugs still sell long after the patents expire. It's not like Lipitor has been pulled from the shelves (patent just expired recently). Yeah there's competition - so what? For every Coke there's a Pepsi, for every McDonalds there's a Burger King. Suck it up and earn your money like everyone else.

At that point, why waste money on R&D in the first place?

Just wait for your competitor to do it for you, burning billions in the process, then manufacture it yourself at a cheaper price - you don't have R&D money to recoup - and undercut them to death.

Great idea heh.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (5, Insightful)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859894)

"Just wait for your competitor to do it for you, burning billions in the process, then manufacture it yourself at a cheaper price - you don't have R&D money to recoup - and undercut them to death." This accurately describes China's approach to saving R&D expenses.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859946)

R&D for prescription drug research is publicly funded and then handed over to big pharma to market. WE pay for the research. There's ZERO benefit to allowing drug patents to exist.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859990)

Really? Then why do the companies hold the patents and not the government?

Re:Under attack from all sides. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860082)

So companies should work towards creating advancements and innovations and rely on improved efficiency to cover R&D budget shortfalls?

Re:Under attack from all sides. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860206)

Companies will do whatever brings in money and nothing more.

If efficiency increases profit, they will do it - and keep it secret how it done if there is no patent protection to keep their edge.

Yes, they can profit from R&D for new products without patent protection, but they would rather just sit on their asses, save the money and let someone else do the dirty work for them - from which they can freely profit from. If it's more profitable this way, and this is what they would do.

It's all about money.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859778)

The universities, where most of the research comes from today. 99% of R&D budgets are pure D, research just doesn't happen in the private sector anymore.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859944)

Pharmaceutical companies do a lot of pure research. I work as at a pharmaceutical company in IT support for just the research labs. Of the labs my department support only a tiny portion do any development work. Almost all of the development work is done by labs in other divisions than the one supported by my department (actually this is changing as due to recent changes in corporate structure those divisions are finding out about us and starting to request our support).

Re:Under attack from all sides. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860266)

Pharmecutical companies spend more than twice as much on advertising as they do on research. And much of their research is on updating drugs about to move out of patent protection to get them another 20 year monopoly. And even then their total annual research is less than 30 billion. We'd get more bang for our buck by removing their patents and spending 30 billion on grants for targetted medicines. Then maybe we'd get cures for real diseases, and not another 13 erection pills and non-existant diseases like restless leg syndrome.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860348)

First of all, Viagra was developed to treat hypertension and heart disease. During Phase I testing it was discovered to cause penile erection. Only after it was concluded to have limited effect on heart disease did Pfizer decide to market it as an erectile dysfunction treatment. The other erectile dysfunction drugs were originally developed for treating heart disease as well (although they did not get as far into testing as Viagra before being re-purposed as erectile dysfunction treatments).
Additionally, there have been major breakthroughs in treating many major illnesses in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, most major illnesses of the developed world do not readily lend themselves to a cure. Diabetes is a perfect example of this. Type I diabetes is a result of the pancreas not functioning properly. Until such a time as medical science develops the ability to grow new organs, it will not be curable.

Re:Under attack from all sides. (1)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859796)

I think software patents is the thing we should fix now

Re:Under attack from all sides. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860166)

I talked to an actual patent lawyer, double degree, engineering/law. His take on it is software needs it's own type of intellectual property protection And duration should be half that of true patents. In other words, you should have a software patent, but that's it, no patents no copyrights. His reasoning for software having much less protection than patents is that software is much more straightforward, in general, than hardware which is a physical thing. Nor copyrights which protect stuff that takes a vast effort to produce, but nothing to copy.

But, but, but ... (1)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859626)

Mueller said they were gonna get that money. The judge must have gotten it wrong.

Re:But, but, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859878)

If Google is found guilty of patent infringement, doesn't that also make everyone who sells or uses Android-based phones also guilty?

And remember, Google was in negotiations with Sun over these very patents, so if (and it's a BIG if) Google is found guilty it will almost certainly be found to be willful infringement.

Because "negotiate for patents, can't come to a deal, use 'em anyway!" is going to go over really well, isn't it?

Re:But, but, but ... (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860066)

If Google is found guilty of patent infringement, doesn't that also make everyone who sells or uses Android-based phones also guilty?

Er, I'm not 100% positive, but I am fairly certain that's not how it works. When a product is supplied to you, you are generally indemnified against all legal issues stemming purely from the provider. It's like how you're not charged with crimes if it turns out your car's engine exploded due to a manufacturing error, rather than you just didn't maintain it for the past five years. Generally, the worst that can happen is you're deprived of the right to use that product, but even that's pretty rare, and usually ends in reimbursement (manufacturer sends out recall notice, you're forced to send your car in due to the hideous defect that endangers everyone around you).

This wouldn't apply in cases where Android had an update pushed out to remove the infringing parts, and you rooted your phone to get it back, since they attempted to make good, and now you're the one infringing.

Of course, I could be wrong, and if so, someone let me know. After all, I'm neither American nor a lawyer, so I'm far from an expert.

Burden of proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859646)

How does this work anyway, is there a burden of proof to show you somehow lost $x, where x in this case is 6.1e9?

Move outside the US (1)

Doodlesmcpooh (1981178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859684)

If Google runs into problems surely they could set up a European company and sell them Android for $1. That way they could at least continue with Android everywhere except the US. Maybe if all the large software companies started moving out of the US then the government would do something about software patents.

Re:Move outside the US (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859876)

Giving up on the US market just over not being able to use Java is unlikely and stupid. They will just find another dev language probably either extending Go or create a C++ framework. Assuming damages cover the already distributed androids they are fine to use java but for new version devs must rewrite their apps.

Uncle Larry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859732)

You think Uncle Larry's Maybach is free? Time for Google to pay up and stop freeloading. Sometimes I believe their dancing around copyright and patents is childish. Just like the Nerf guns and shit I heard they have at that place. Children with PHd's.

Kill All Software Patents (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859734)

I'm ready to kill all software patents. Does Android compete with Oracle? (No, Oracle doesn't market phones or tablets and never will.) Does Android compete with Microsoft. (Not really.) Does Android compete with Apple. (No, if you want an iPhone you're not going to buy an Android phone and vice versa.) Did anybody other than Google put in the effort to create Android and deserve the rewards for doing so? (No, they just want to collect money for doing nothing more than filing a patents that they don't even use in this market.)

Who loses when all of these patents are enforced. (We, the public, do - Big Time!)

Re:Kill All Software Patents (2)

lolcutusofbong (2041610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859860)

I believe you meant killall -9 software patents.

Re:Kill All Software Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860186)

hahaha funny!

Re:Kill All Software Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860022)

Uh J2ME was *THE* goto language for cell phones up until andriod/iphone showed up. So yeah they may have had some compete there and probably a patent or two... The company they bought up even worked on it and they even still sell it...

Between apple and google they have reshaped the entire phone market.

Re:Kill All Software Patents (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860028)

Does Android compete with Apple. (No, if you want an iPhone you're not going to buy an Android phone and vice versa.)

Too much of a stretch, isn't it? Of course one brand of phones competes with the other.

Re:Kill All Software Patents (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860072)

[1] Did anybody other than Google put in the effort to create Android [2] and deserve the rewards for doing so?

[1] By definition, yes. Someone spent time and effort creating an idea, a technique, a widget, whatever. If they hadn't, there would have been nothing to patent. That idea/technique/widget was then used by Google who could build Android faster, cheaper, easier, more useful, because they didn't have to both identify the problem and then think of a solution to it themselves. So, yes, someone other than Google put in [some of] the effort to create [some of what became] Android.

Actually, massive numbers of people did but those who invented transistors, windowing, graphics techniques, file systems, core OS concepts, etc. either didn't patent those ideas or invented them long enough ago that they've fallen out of patent protection. That's the nature of every modern OS being built on ~65 years of computing evolution. I'd imagine if you take any modern OS and could somehow magically calculate all the hours of human thought that went in to every technique, every technique that supported another technique and so on, the OS company's investment in that OS is probably far, far below 50%.

[2] That one's much more subjective. Generally speaking, these days, someone at company A invents and patents something. Company B then sees value in company A's patents, customers, reputation, etc. and pays a price to purchase all of that. This means that company B didn't actually invent it themselves but you can argue they paid for that invention and the value that controlling it confers. In the current legal system, yes, that means they deserve to get compensated. But there's always the question of whether current legal systems really represent what's "right," what's "deserved," etc.

Re:Kill All Software Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860284)

[1] There are so many patents filed today, you can't possibly know if something you're doing was already written down by some other guy 5 years ago. If you didn't even know you were using someone else's idea, how could you have used the idea to build something faster, cheaper or easier?

If I come up with an idea and start a business, I have no idea whether some patent troll can surface, take all my money and shut me down. He doesn't necessarily have to create anything, or even implement the patent in any way. Do you honestly feel like this is how the system should work?

Re:Kill All Software Patents (5, Insightful)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860108)

Does Android compete with Oracle? (No, Oracle doesn't market phones or tablets and never will.)

Oracle licenses Java ME to phone manufacturers and Android is destroying that revenue. Though in a good sense, because Java ME should be killed off.

Google didn't use Oracle Java. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859762)

They did a clean room implementation of Java that worked exactly the same way. But it is not Java and uses no Oracle IP. Oracle doesn't own Java. They just own their one implementation of Java.

This is the same way us old people were able to buy cheap IBM clones back in the day. If it had been upto IBM you would still be running a 486 with ISA expansion slots.

Re:Google didn't use Oracle Java. (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859836)

Ah but here lies the difference between patents and copyright.

To use a car analogy (since they're pretty popular around here) - if I patent a car, I am locking down all ideas which are similar to it. So even if you get a person in the jungle whose never seen a car in his life, and he thinks up "Hey ... car", and designs one from scratch - it'll still be bad since he is 'copying' the idea. Clean room or not clean room.

Now copyright on the other hand, yes. If you do the same idea in a different manner, that's fine!

Re:Google didn't use Oracle Java. (1)

Sehnsucht (17643) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859838)

Actually, you'd have MCA ...

Re:Google didn't use Oracle Java. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859940)

MCA only came about as a method to obtain more revenue, when everybody and their brother were selling ISA motherboards and cards. It was IBM's cash grab that failed. This article is correct: if the playing field then was like it is now, they would not have needed MCA, ISA would have been protected.

This cannot be good for Java... (5, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859816)

I am inclined to think that if Oracle wins this, then there are going to be a lot of other places that are going to end being afraid of utilizing Java in the future... which could spell the effective end of Java as a mainstream programming language (although it obviously wouldn't die completely), which can't possibly be good for oracle.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859848)

Well, is Oracle making any money off Java? Far as I know they're not making a cent from it. All versions of java are open to use.

If they get a few billion (which they had hoped for) from Google it'll really pay its rent. That said, I do see Oracle killing off this language due to being bad money hungry people indeed, and I hope someone will fork it because , well, it was a clever idea.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860170)

Free to use, yes. Free to implement, only if you stick to the very strict rules set forth by Sun. Sun always intended to collect licensing for implementations that did not strictly adhere to those rules. By not providing an implementation that does not comply with either J2ME or J2SE they are violating these rules. Google knew this which is why they inquired about licensing with Sun, but instead of an agreement of terms Google decided to just turn their back and do whatever they want. Sun knew that this was a violation and knew that they had grounds for a recourse but lacked there wherewithal to do much about it.

I severely doubt that Google will walk away from this without having to open their wallet. The question is whether or not they and Oracle will come to an agreement or if Oracle will rake them over the coals.

Make no mistake about it, though. Sun designed the Java licensing very deliberately and they did intend to make money on it through these nonconformant implementations.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860334)

You do realize most of the products Oracle sells rely on Java, right? That's the entire reason they didn't want it going to IBM. They are more likely to kill of their database than Java.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860020)

Yep. They're cashing in their board position for some cash now.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860128)

Their community relations are the worst out of all corporations. I don't know what is their standing in the DBA community, but in Java community Oracle is definitely not loved... The Apache issue has had a really big impact on their image, since ASF is one of the biggest Java community hubs.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (3, Insightful)

bigBlackSabbath (462796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860184)

What? Where did that leap in logic come from? Sun had specific terms around using Java in embedded applications. It appears Google realized that, but perhaps felt by using Dalvik rather than a Sun JRE, they would be avoiding that.

Most mainstream Java programming, involves server-side applications. The outcome of this trial should have no bearing whatsoever on those mainstream uses of Java. At all.

If Java's mainstream appeal will be diminished by anything, it's the rise of alternatives (e.g., ruby, python, c#, etc.).

I don't know if you're spreading FUD, you're uninformed, or you just don't like Oracle. Either way, you're speculation strikes me as wild and baseless.

Re:This cannot be good for Java... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860414)

I don't see why would that be the case. You don't get sued by using Java that comes from Sun/Oracle, or a certified compatible implementation, which is what the vast majority of people are doing. Especially in areas where Java is dominant or at least popular today - big enterprise apps and web apps - this lawsuit has no relevance at all.

Sure, for the use of Java in a mobile device, you'd have to pay (though that only applies to device manufacturer, not e.g. app developers). I don't know how much Oracle asks for that license, but given how many J2ME enabled phones are out there, even the cheapest ones, I'd wager it's very cheap.

Just Use Mono (2, Funny)

lolcutusofbong (2041610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859832)

Seriously, at this point they'd probably be better off writing everything for Mono or another CLR clone - it's not like Microsoft isn't already asserting patent claims.

Re:Just Use Mono (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860046)

I'll bite. Everyone just use Qt. Free, portable, open source. With QML, no C++ is needed.

Re:Just Use Mono (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860422)

With QML, no C++ is needed.

QML is a markup language, embedding a subset of JavaScript for things like data bindings. My impression was that it doesn't give you access to all features of Qt - e.g. if you need to write your own custom control, or even for a lot of model code (DB access etc).

Re:Just Use Mono (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860226)

That is possibly not so funny actually.

As a language/library/api C#/.net is much safer from a patent/licensing position than Java. Java is completely free as long as you do a full deployment and don't customize it. That isn't an issue for the server or the desktop (not that anyone cares about Java on the desktop). Burt for other applications where you don't want, need, can't use the full distribution, or your need to extend the language, you are SOL. You have to license the rights from Oracle.

Another two observations. Microsoft back in the day was notoriously viscous to competitors, but not end users, and certainly not for tools. Oracle's relationship with it's customers is predatory. If you're in corporate you might think about having options other than Java. And especially if you have products that compte with Oracles.

I get the impression (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859834)

...the judge is trying to pressure both sides into reaching a settlement

Linux for mobile devices (1)

cbarcus (600114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860038)

Android sounds like Linux for mobile devices. I'm sure someone will come up with a more accurate analogy, especially since the technology is actually built on top of Linux, but it is essentially a community project stewarded by a commercial firm whose business is built upon selling algorithmic access to its customers. This preserves a certain amount of privacy that many of its customers find acceptable. What is perhaps not acceptable is the NSA's access to nearly every communication firms' backend, but that's another story.

Java is a great technology, but Sun was unable to build a viable business around it, and Oracle acquired Sun largely for litigation potential. Oracle has essentially failed the community in the stewardship of this technology, so this lawsuit is more than a little bit ridiculous. Like many patent disputes, it heaps doubt upon the entire software patent system.

In this time of economic contraction, should we be instigating more uncertainty among important community-orientated technologies? Do we not want businesses like Google building open (and very inexpensive) platforms, and competing primarily upon the quality of their services? Isn't that very much in the interest of consumers?

Larry Value = $1.00 ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860230)

Really.

Really!

Oracle Value = $1.01.

Really.

Really!

What this means is that the US Government is throwing away BILLIONS of DOLLARS persuing persecution of a person, Larry Eilson, and a company, Oracle, whose combine worth is only $2.01; given the exchange rates in 1989.

President Obama has a secure Executive Order granting him privalige to kill any and all human beings on Earth as his pinis dictates and his asshole ablidges.

Why dosen't Obama order the killing of Eilson and all employees of Oracle as he did with Osama Bin Laden.

What would be easier for a person such as Obama just to order the killing of his school-yard tormenters just to satisfiy his perverted homosexual cravings.

--//..

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