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Oracle's Java Claims Now Down To $230 Million

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the mere-pocket-change dept.

Android 84

jfruh writes "Hey, remember when Oracle decided to sue Google over claims that Android violated Oracle's Java patents and copyrights? How's that working out? Not so well, it seems! Oracle has been forced to take many of its patents out of the lawsuit due to lack of evidence, and the damages in play now are down to a little less than 4 percent of Oracle's original $6.1 billion claims."

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84 comments

Poor Larry (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39111521)

That won't even pay for the mooring fees, let alone an entire yacht!

who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39111595)

who cares

Re:who cares (5, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111753)

who cares

If Oracle wins, they'll still have a victory under their belt which they could pursue manufacturers of Android devices?

Re:who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112071)

who cares

If Oracle wins, they'll still have a victory under their belt which they could pursue manufacturers of Android devices?

The AC is posting on Slashdot and doesn't care about the outcome of the case. Therefore, it's most likely an Acolyte Of The Holy And Ascended Steve and is drooling at that prospect.

So, yeah, nice job, buddy. I get enough Apple drool on me at work from our design team, I don't need any more.

Re:who cares (3, Funny)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112599)

Mr. Madison, what you have just said, is the most insanely idiotic thing I have ever heard. At no point, in your rambling incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEkWH8DB7b0 [youtube.com]

Re:who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113541)

Great line, horrible delivery. One of the few movie lines that works better in print than when heard.

Re:who cares (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114659)

Oracle could have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers on day 1. Example: Microsoft, which gets royalty payments from Samsung, HTC, LG, etc but hasn't gone after Google (except indirectly via Motorola).

It would probably be easier to hit the manufacturers directly since blocking imports isn't good for revenue. That's a pretty strong incentive to license up.

Re:who cares (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114297)

"if Oracle Wins"?

You do realize that they might not even get a settlement - this is assuming the judge even lets this go to trial.

Then again, it's not like they had a case in the first place.

Re:who cares (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114581)

Well if those emails that Oracle got a hold of are allowed in court (sorry i can't find the link, it was on /. awhile back so maybe someone can find it?) where one of the employees basically said "We'll see how much they want for Java and if the price is to high we'll just make our own version" then they are sunk, the only question is how much they are gonna have to pay. How long before corps learn that email is a BAD idea with a capital B? Call 'em on the damned phone already, quit leaving a paper trail the size of Kansas that can be used against you in court! Hell even Cheney was smart enough to have the White house emails sent through the RNC who just "oopsie" made them all go away on a regular basis.

Personally I don't see why everyone is cheering Google in this except for "All go to hell except cave 76!" perception bubbles. I mean for the love of Pete its MSJava all over again! BOTH companies made their own version of Java which was incompatible with Java proper and BOTH companies have aggressively pushed their incompatible Java, so what's the diff? Because Google has some lame ass 'Do no evil" motto that means that doing the exact same shit MSFT did is okay now? it wasn't okay when MSFT did it and its not okay now. If Google wanted to use Java (which the emails said clearly they did) then they should have licensed it and then stuck to the standards. hell if anything I'd argue in this case they are worse than MSFT because at least MSFT bought a license before they tried to fuck Java. Either stick to the standards, pay your licenses, or roll your own. Its not like Google can't afford to roll their own language or buy one right?

Re:who cares (3, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114653)

The difference is that MS claimed their implementation was java, which it's clearly not.
Google only ever claimed their language was similar to java, which it is.

Re:who cares (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39117657)

Well if those emails that Oracle got a hold of are allowed in court

Are you talking about Lindholm email [groklaw.net]? it was allowed in court, and an out of context conversation of people that doesn't know enough to determine of two systems are similar does not a proof make.

Re:who cares (3, Informative)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39120069)

There is a lot that is different here. I think someone needs to enumerate them and I'm sure someone else has already done so. However, since I can find no enumeration actively, I'll do so here. I beg forgiveness to anyone who's already done this because they've most likely done a better job than myself.

Microsoft v Sun - This wasn't a patent case. This was mostly a breach of contract case. Microsoft signed an agreement with Sun Microsystems at the time, to implement a version of the JVM for Microsoft Windows. This was actually par for the course in the start-up days of Java, to have a JVM, the OS maker had to write the JVM and only if they had a signed agreement could the OS maker do so. (It's one of the reasons Microsoft felt really compelled to start .NET)

Back on track... Microsoft put some value added stuff in their JVM that basically made java byte code developed for MS-JVM incompatible with other JVMs. Namely, RNI and J/Direct to name a few. This was strictly not what Microsoft agreed to in the deal. It was found in court that Microsoft had made the MS-JVM specifically with the idea to hijack Java altogether as part of a wider embrace, extend, and extinguish that involved Netscape as well. Bytecode from another vendor would run on MS-JVM, but if the same source was compiled with Microsoft's javac (java compiler) then the bytecode would fail on every other JVM out there. This was especially true with the implementation of Java Sockets which explicitly loaded two different libraries. One for other bytecode and one for MS bytecode.

Now the biggest problem, other than Microsoft had signed an agreement to not do this, was that Microsoft was calling this Java and cited that the agreement allowed them to slap a Java logo on their product. Sun took offense to that idea and additionally sued their butts for trademark infringement. That last part is what is important here. Trademark infringement.

Let's switch over to Google...

In this case we are now dealing with Oracle v Google. The case between the two isn't a single point of law that's being brought up, just like the Sun v Microsoft was contractual, trademark, and anti-trust. What Google did was create a new virtual machine, which is not illegal. However, their choice programming language borrows the Java programming language syntax, which while not illegal, does draw the platform as a whole and the virtual machine in question. Google doesn't brand their platform as being Java and they've signed no contract with Oracle or Sun before that, agreeing that they would stick to the Java spec.

Oracle brings up the issue that Google's implementation pollutes the Java ecosystem, but there again, Google makes no claims to their VM being Java. That said, Oracle still takes issue that you have things like java.lang.String and so forth. Mind you that the Oracle java.lang.String and Google java.lang.String are two different beast. Which brings us to the underlying issue.

Google's implementation of the Java Language Spec (JLS), at least the parts that they borrow, did not come from code that is under Oracle's protection. It came from the Apache Harmony project which is under a different license than the JLS. Thus one point to argue in court is, is it legal to make an implementation of a language, even part of it, that is neither a standard (ISO/ECMA) and not under an open license (remember this was what all the brew-ha-ha was with the Apache split from the JCP.) I can write my own C++ compiler because it is a standard (ISO) so long as I don't use any methods that others have patented. I can write my own Python compiler because it is under an open license, again so long as I obey the license and don't use any already patented methods. Java, however, is neither a standard or under an open license (an implementation is open sourced called OpenJDK but Java the language is still not under an open license.)

Because of this, think of the API (the names of the functions and where they exist in a tree-like structure with regards to the Java language) as a literary work of art. The words "java.lang.String" are not protected but it's relationship to the rest of the API is. Just like no single word in my post is copyrightable, but their organization into this post, makes the thing as a whole copyrightable. This is ONE argument that Oracle is making on Google, but Oracle has had a hard time making this stick in court, we'll just have to see how it all plays out.

Again, there are multiple implementations of the Java language that don't call themselves Java. Kaffe comes to mind. Google and the court are miffed as to why Google is getting slapped but not someone like the Kaffe project. The obvious is that Google is bigger and has more money and that is all too apparent in the courtroom as well. This is one of the reasons that Oracle keeps finding it hard to make this argument stick in court.

The second, among many, things that Oracle claims is that Google's VM uses some methods for virtual machines that are patented by Oracle (or at least were bought up by them with Sun's purchase.) This is the biggest trouble Google has. A lot of these processes have a lot to do with making virtual machines intelligent. By no means are they required to make a virtual machine as apparent by the multitude of virtual machines out there. Specifically, Oracle has patents that deal with organizing a Java class file that the specific libraries required to get the class "up and going" are found faster and methods for a virtual machine to access virtual and native resources in a hybrid (intermixed) approach. Technical issues aside, the claim does lend a bit to the assumption that Dalvik files are indeed Java class files. Back to technical, not all *.class files are converted into *.dex files by dx. Also, the idea that a *.java file is compiled by javac into a *.class and then converted into a *.dex file by dx, doesn't bode well for Google's argument that the patent's don't hold water because they are not *.class files. I could take any dictionary and reverse it or just put the words most commonly used at the front, but that does not mean I have a separate piece of work, I relied heavily on the dictionary already being there.

So Google's biggest threat is not that they use Java or a Java like language, but they might be using methods that are patented by Oracle. Google made the claim that those patents only apply to Java bytecode, but Oracle has shown that without javac, Google's *.dex file would not exist, and thus the patents do apply because, even though it is not Java bytecode per se, the *.dex file comes from Java bytecode.

So that's a rough overview of the difference between the two court cases.

Either stick to the standards

Java isn't a standard in the technical terms. There was a big throw down between F/OSS people and Mono people about this talking point just a few years back, ah how the years fly.

pay your licenses, or roll your own.

Well I think the way the software patent system works currently, Google went with the right choice. At least this way, only one person is fighting them on the platform itself. There are a lot of patents out there about code optimization and virtual machine performance, the fact that Google has only pissed off one company is pretty impressive.

Its not like Google can't afford to roll their own language or buy one right?

Again, it is not about Google's platform using the Java programming language, the court doesn't feel like that's an issue, but of course, Judge Alsup has not made a solid ruling saying that, just that's where he seems to be leaning on the matter.

Finally, I want to add a bit of my opinion here, so you can take it with a grain of salt. I don't want to come off as Google is totally innocent, that's really up to the court to decide. However, I think a lot of people miss that this is a patent case more than a copyright case. Also, Sun v Microsoft was a trademark case. A lot of people here seem to get the three confused. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are all different types of cases and violations are due to different reasons. Drawing a parallel between the Oracle v Google and Sun v Microsoft cases was tried by Oracle as the very start of the case. The big thing about that was, at first it seemed like the judge was buying it. However, reason washed over the court and the judge finally came out with, something along the lines of, "Wait a second! This isn't a trademark claim! It's a copyright/patent claim!" Oracle has been having trouble ever since with the copyright claims. However, the patent claims may be the thing that wins something for Oracle. So in my opinion, I think it is wrong to draw a parallel between the two cases. They were brought up for different reasons.

Re:who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133123)

+1 insightful and/or informative, take your pick.

I wish I had mod points.

Re:who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39122861)

Actually, the email drafts in question were made after Oracle threatened Google with a lawsuit. Oracle tried to drum up more drama while misleading the judge (by not telling the judge) that the emails were after suit was brought. That brings a whole new perspective on why a developer, with no legal background, might want to comment on the pursuit of getting a license. In fact, when the Judge was finally notified, he found the same distinction I just outlined.

Abuse of process (5, Interesting)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111629)

the damages in play now are down to a little less than 4 percent of Oracle's original $6.1 billion claims."

At this point, they should just declare that Oracle abused the process and grant Google victory over the remaining patents as compensation/penalty

Re:Abuse of process (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111837)

Frankly, both Oracle and Google should just stop fighting immediately and dedicate their effort to reverse-engineering this judge's apparently superb garbage-collecting algorithms...

Re:Abuse of process (4, Interesting)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112135)

I'll play the Devil's Advocate card here.

Oracle may have been overzealous by a far degree. The process this is taking is likely very stupid. Many have been thrown out. However, that doesn't mean the last few aren't legally sound under the current system/process. Maybe they aren't. The most obvious offenders were withdrawn. It is now time to test the sturdier ones to the law process.

Who knows, maybe Oracle will loose and set a useful precedent for the Googles?

Re:Abuse of process (4, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112713)

What I dont get is how come there isnt a penalty for pursuing a lawsuit where 96% of it is thrown out?
If Oracle had brought a similar lawsuit on a small firm instead of Google, they(the small firm) would have probably been shut down just because of the costs of the suit

Re:Abuse of process (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113725)

What I dont get is how come there isnt a penalty for pursuing a lawsuit where 96% of it is thrown out?

Are you serious? Who benefits from long drawn out frivolous lawsuits? Lawyers. Who controls the courts? Judges, who are lawyers. Who makes the laws? Politicians, who are 85% lawyers. There is no one in a position to fix the system who has any incentive to do so.
 

Even better for Business Software Alliance (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39118439)

You have to pay the BSA's legal expenses, even if the BSA has no case against you; and you are entirely in the right. That is why everybody settles. Greatest extortion racket ever.

Re:Abuse of process (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114631)

Even if there is a small kernel of truth somewhere in there, there is a line between merely overzealous and a big fat lie. The best liars always build on a small kernel of truth to make it believable. If they are over that line, they deserve to lose on the whole thing so they won't do it again.

The last thing we need is a bunch of plaintiffs trying to turn a paper cut into a life altering event worth millions in compensation.

Re:Abuse of process (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112319)

Unfortunately I don't think "stating ridiculously huge amounts" has ever been a disqualifier in the US legal system...

The problem with outlanding numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39111667)

The problem with outlandish numbers like the $6.1B is that it serves as a poor reference point. We are now saying "only 4%" of what was originally asked for when the original amount was not based on reality. $230M is probably still ridiculously high even if the claims have merit. But once people get a number framed in their mind, it is permanently there as a reference point.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (2)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111815)

but, "Billions and Billions" does have a nice ring to it.

"Millions and Millions", not bad, but it's just not the same.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (5, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112299)

but, "Billions and Billions" does have a nice ring to it.

Only when Carl Sagan said it.

Anyone else just can't quite seem to pull it off.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (5, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111885)

In legislations, where it is "loser pays", this first reference point is important for the later outcome. Google was sued for 6.1bn, valuing the lawsuit at 6.1bn. If Oracle manages to get the 230mil awarded, this means that there were 5.87bn, which they didn't get. That would mean that Oracle has to pay 96% of the whole costs for the lawsuit.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112627)

That would mean that Oracle has to pay 96% of the whole costs for the lawsuit

Including Googles legal fee?
In that case isnt it worse for Oracle to quote crazy high numbers?

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112739)

We are not in a loser pay system.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39121711)

Well, Oracle already has to pay some of Google's legal fees (specifically, the ones incurred for dealing with Oracle's 3rd damages report).

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111887)

It isn't so much a 'problem' as 'the direct intent' of using outlandish numbers.

If you hope to walk out with $500 million, starting at 'Eleventy Billion' and allowing yourself to be negotiated down is likely to work better than starting at 100 million and attempting to work up.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114707)

Were this a contract negotiation where both parties are presumed to be permitted to ask for anything at all so long as it's legal, that would be fine. However, this is court where the parties are placed under an oath to tell the truth and are expected to back their numbers with fact and law.

The compulsory nature of the courtroom is the key difference. If you and I are free to walk away, you can indeed ask me for a million dollars for a stick of gum. I walk away and that's that. If I am NOT free to just laugh in your face and walk away, you better be able to back those numbers up.

Re:The problem with outlanding numbers (2)

stevew (4845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113785)

According to my reading at Groklaw - it's going to likely be more like $20-$30 million. There is a good chance that the third report(and extraordinary even having a third chance at the apple in and of itself) didn't rectify the problems the court directed Oracle to fix. They may loose ALL testimony on damages. They have managed to shoot themselves in the foot quite satisfactorily.

What about the apple patents? (5, Informative)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111685)

At least they aren't going the route of apple which last week, for example, patented an existing 3D eye tracking based icon display system of which there is a demo by someone else in youtube since 2009.

Would the patent office bother to find out? I dont think so.
Don't believe me, compare it yourself:

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/02/apple-working-on-hot-3d-eye-tracking-interface-for-gaming-iphone.html [patentlyapple.com]

versus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SImOIMcMlk [youtube.com]

If anyone has any connection to the US patent office they should be made aware.

Re:What about the apple patents? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111925)

The patent office rubber stamps whatever comes in, and lets the courts sort it out.

Re:What about the apple patents? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111927)

In a quick scan of the patentlyapple article I didn't see a link to the application or an application number given. did it say when the app was filed? was it more than a year after the youtube demo? was there other, earlier published prior art, for the youtube product or someone else?

That is the info that would be relevant to the USPTO.

Re:What about the apple patents? (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112063)

Apple's behavior is perfectly fair:

After the apotheosis of Jobs, the reality distortion field was so intensified that space and time itself operate differently within the confines of his mortuary temple. Anybody within the sanctum operates as an innovator-outside-of-time. They may appear to release specific developments at specific points in the pitifully linear 'history' experienced by the unenlightened; but they(how this works is a Holy Mystery; but it is so)are simultaneously are perpetually innovating beyond time, have already invented all technologies worth inventing, and will invent all technologies worth inventing.

Human history is, in fact, simply a mortal's-eye-view of the bestowal of gifts of innovation on various Chosen at various times. The patent office is simply recognizing this.

Re:What about the apple patents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112159)

The youtube video is about "head tracking" not eye-tracking. The video was shown because Apple is developing both and it was just to show what it could look like on an iPad. If you actually bothered to read the patent you would have read about eye-tracking vs. head-tracking. This post is just an excitable scrap of nothing.

Re:What about the apple patents? (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140687)

You obviously didn't bother to click on the video, and assumed it was some other video you'd seen. Dingbat.

Re:What about the apple patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112245)

Without reading both patents it's impossible to know whether they're the same implementation of the same idea or different implementations of the same idea. I'm sure you're well aware that patents cover implementations rather than ideas themselves, and there's usually more than one way of accomplishing any given task. Even the article itself links to former articles, one of them published in 2009, for other Apple patent applications related to 3D interfaces. Who knows how far back Apple has been looking into this stuff.

Do some homework before making accusations.

Re:What about the apple patents? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113653)

No, they in fact cover ideas. I don't care what the intent of the law is, the fact is that patents are written in impenetrably vague "patentese" that even trained lawyers can't decipher unless they specialize in the field. This, along with a "fence" of similar patents with the same degree of vagueness, allows one to interpret the language of one or more of these patents in pretty much any manifestation of the idea or even anything vaguely similar to the idea. That is, of course, assuming one has the money to leverage the system like this. Far as the big players and patent mills are concerned, that's a feature, not a bug.

Re:What about the apple patents? (2)

jmegapac (231019) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113527)

On February 10, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a hot 3D eye-tracking based interface that will be used for gaming, digital photography and videography, biometrics and surveillance applications while being an OS feature option for iOS devices and Apple's iMac.

According to the article, it is a publication of a patent application (PGPUB). The actual publication number is US 2012/0036433 A1. It probably hasn't even been examined yet.

Please inform yourself of the basics of the US patent system before posting stuff like this.

That's the way it's done (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111687)

That's the way lawyers and lawsuits work, especially in the Fantasyland of "Intellectual Property" law -- throw anything and everything at the wall, see what sticks. Rinse, repeat.

Re:That's the way it's done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39111973)

At this point, I'm betting $230 M is covering their lawyers' retainers with a few bucks left over for Larry to spend on a (relatively) small trinket to remind people he's a tacky d-bag.

Business Model (5, Interesting)

EliSowash (2532508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111749)

Is it just me, or have lawsuits become a core business model of technology megacorps?

End the capture (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111813)

Lawsuits will always be a business model wherever the law provides a cause of action [wikipedia.org]. To take the legal system out of the equation, you have to remove the cause of action. Legislators create causes of action, and U.S. legislators have been captured [wikipedia.org] by rent-seeking monopolists [wikipedia.org]. The only way I can see to clean this up is to end the capture [rootstrikers.org].

Re:Business Model (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114189)

Personally, I don't think Oracle has a chance of winning because Android uses java on the back-end and it is just a reimplementation of the Java SDK targeting smartphones. However, I am starting to think the purpose of this lawsuit is less about money on the front end and more about locking Android onto java backend by threatening Google with patent infringement if they change the backend to not be java based. The reason I think this is because rumor has it that Oracle has massively jacked up the cost of bundling java with applications (I don't know what it was before, but it is no longer allowed at my company, so we're talking about ditching it), and so if I were Google, I'd consider a different backend.

  So while Oracle may make money off of the patent lawsuit or may not, they are using it more to tell Google they're on the hook and can't get off. It's a dirty money grab on Oracle's part, but that is why Larry Ellison has 28 billion himself (not even counting his company's fortune) and Sun Microsystems went bankrupt.

Re:Business Model (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39117813)

The lawsuit makes sense if Oracles wants to stop Google from distributing Android, if they want to stop Google from using Java (hey, that would be a great outcome), or if they want to get money from every Android device.

Their claims simply don't require that Google uses Java. Unless they come with a complete turn around at the settlement.

apt-get uninstall java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39111831)

rm -rf /Program Fuks/Java

Can Android be stopped because of this? (3, Interesting)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111899)

Nobody cares about the money. Can Android be stopped because of this?

Groklaw's latest: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120220133911859 [groklaw.net]

Oracle should think long and hard about whether it wants to persist on the issue of patent infringement or, for that matter, any infringement at all. Those failed settlement discussions probably look a lot more attractive to Oracle right now.

Re:Can Android be stopped because of this? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112747)

Nobody cares about the money. Can Android be stopped because of this?

No, because Oracle's not that stupid, and Android is too far entrenched.

Remember, Java's main revenue stream is all the J2ME licenses that everyone pays. Given that most phones sold today are non-smartphones, that means every phone sold that way pays Oracle for the J2ME runtime.

All Oracle is seeing here that Android should pay up as well, and to negotiate with Google on what rates it should be.

Though, there may soon be an Android LA (similar to MPEG-LA) to handle all the patent licensing stuff - pay a per-unit royalty to A-LA and get access to Microsoft's, Apple's, Oracle's, and the rest of the ETSI's patents.

Heck, I'm surprised there's no ETSI-LA for handling all the FRAND patent licensing stuff instead of having to negotiate individually with Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola, and all the other patent licenseholders.

J2ME != JESE (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112809)

the sort of Java that is in Android is not J2ME at all and is more like J2SE. The licensing cost for J2SE is significantly more expensive per unit than J2ME. It could be a deal breaker for some Android phones to have to shell out such a large royalty.

Re:J2ME != JESE (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39117837)

Sorry, but you can download J2SE for free, and even distribute it embebed on your installer if you follow some simple requirements.

Re:J2ME != JESE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39120103)

the sort of Java that is in Android is not J2ME at all and is more like J2SE. The licensing cost for J2SE is significantly more expensive per unit than J2ME. It could be a deal breaker for some Android phones to have to shell out such a large royalty.

And by "significantly more expensive", you must mean "at no cost" which ius what Sun/Oracle charge for them: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/source_license.html

So, how much will they pay me to use J2ME then?

Re:Can Android be stopped because of this? (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115679)

Though, there may soon be an Android LA (similar to MPEG-LA) to handle all the patent licensing stuff - pay a per-unit royalty to A-LA and get access to Microsoft's, Apple's, Oracle's, and the rest of the ETSI's patents.

Heck, I'm surprised there's no ETSI-LA for handling all the FRAND patent licensing stuff instead of having to negotiate individually with Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola, and all the other patent licenseholders.

That stuff generally only happens when the standard is created by a group of companies who want the patents to read on it so that they, themselves, can collect royalties from everybody else. If the standard (or technology) is maintained by a third party (like Google), creating a patent pool is like putting up a billboard saying, "hey Google, here is a list of specific patents you can set your army of lawyers and engineers to work invalidating or designing around." And then most of them get invalidated and the next version Android doesn't infringe any of the others.

Why do you think Microsoft's patent trolling is all done under non-disclosure agreements?

Re:Can Android be stopped because of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39116625)

Maybe Oracle doesn't want to win; they just want Android to lose. Larry and Steve worked together on many projects. This might be another one.

Re:Can Android be stopped because of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39117957)

Nobody cares about the money. Can Android be stopped because of this?

Hopefully

Mark my words, oh ye infidels (2)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39111953)

One day Oracle shall beg Google to be granted the right to pay. On that day, the world shall come crashing down in shards of bytecode, and all the Java geeks shall be confounded.

Oracle should be forced to pay all legal (1)

spads (1095039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112025)

fees incurred for refuting the claims, and perhaps some penalties (and so on). That should take (a) chunk(s) out of what's left.

"Get Smart" analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112145)

Smart: Because at this very moment, this warehouse is being surrounded by one hundred cops with Doberman pinschers. Would you believe it? A hundred cops with Doberman pinschers.

Nicholas: I find that hard to believe.

Smart: Would you believe ten security guards and a bloodhound?

Nicholas: I don't think so.

Smart: How about a Boy Scout with rabies?

The problem with universal languages (4, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112203)

- is that you can't get upset when someone uses them universally.

Re:The problem with universal languages (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114455)

The litigation isn't about the language as you can't patent a language. It's about the VM patents, namely just-in-time compilation, and mixing compiled and interpreted code.

Obvious next question (1)

Al in SoCal (2372960) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112433)

What are the total legal fees so far and projected by Oracle? Personally I hope Google countersues and gets 232 Million plus pay Google's legal bill as well.

Why didn't Google buy Sun? (5, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112635)

Seriously does anyone know if they considered it at all and if they did why they chose not to? Sun and Google seems to me to have been a natural pairing. Certainly all the absolutely first rate R and D that went on at Sun would have fit into Google's culture. So why didn't they?

Re:Why didn't Google buy Sun? (4, Insightful)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112945)

An excellent point. Google should have, and it was a strategic mistake not to do it. Google uses Java quite a bit internally, it would have not only insulated Google from any Java hijinks, but Google would have (I believe) been a far better steward of Java than Oracle. Google still could have spun off Sun's hardware division, which had not interest for it.

In fact, Java could finally have become what it should have to begin with, and been the premier client-side language for web development, instead of Dart.

Oracle buying Sun was a real inflection point in IT history.

Re:Why didn't Google buy Sun? (1)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115035)

Google is also heavily invested in MySQL internally. Just another reason this would have made a good pairing.

Re:Why didn't Google buy Sun? (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113611)

Because their head has been up their ass for some time now. I hate to say it, I'm a Google fanboy after all, but Google has jumped the shark on a lot of stuff. There is probably a severe culture problem or some type of power jostle that people just don't see, but something is going on.

Re:Why didn't Google buy Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113817)

Because they wanted to be cheap and not spend money if they didn't think that they had to. In hindsight it looks really dumb, especially after they plopped down $12 billion for Motorola.

Re:Why didn't Google buy Sun? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115071)

I rather doubt that regulators would have allowed it.

Yes, it would have made sense, much like it made sense to AT&T to attempt to purchase T-Mobile.

It makes sense for the company who wants to buy it, but it doesn't make sense to the regulators trying to prevent monopolies.

Then again, the regulators did allow Oracle to buy it.

It's not so much about the damages per-se (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112649)

Afaict if oracle wins on some patents they will likely be able to get an injunction against google using stuff covered by those patents. If google can't work around them (that is find a way to do what they need to do without stepping on the patent) they will basically be forced to come to some licensing agreement with oracle and since oracle will have them over a barrel said agreement is unlikely to be cheap.

Re:It's not so much about the damages per-se (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39116157)

If google can't work around them ...

The number of patents involved has reduced massively. More than that, most of those that stayed have lost most of their most important features. Frankly, the collapse in this case is pathetic and very very worrying for Oracle. You would assume that they would be able to come up with some solid patents relevant to almost any VM which runs Java and that this would be the fundamental basis of their defence against Motorola's various database related patents. They have failed to do so at the point where the absolutely had to. As it is, they are beginning to look very like the German army during their attack on Stalingrad and just before the counterattack. Dangerously overstreched and extremely exposed with a terrible logistics chain. You have the feeling that the "chocolate factory", as some of the Google critics call them, may just have competed it's conversion for munitions production.

Large Oracle customers might want to make sure the have a long term, ongoing and harmonious relationship with Google. This may be the time to be kicking out Microsoft mail systems and switching company wide to Google Apps.

(tongue only partly in cheek;)

An open letter to Oracle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113291)

Dear Oracle,

Don't be stupid. Android is keeping Java relavent in the mobile space. If you were to _partner_ with Google instead of suing them, you could open make Android an official part of the JCP. Oracle could get an instant foothold into expanding mobile space, thus beating Microsoft and IBM simultaneously. In addition to a new revenue stream, you would get to participate in one of my favoriate activities: suing Apple. You need a foothold in the mobile space, while Google needs your patent portfolio and proof of prior art. Google's reputation is staked in Java, and you're not natural competitors, so lay down the arms and stick out an olive branch.

P.S.

J2ME blows whale snot. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Re:An open letter to Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113499)

Oracle is trying to force a partnership with Google over their changes/bastardization to Java for Android. If they win the lawsuit, then Google is going to be forced to license Java from Oracle (or drop support, which can't happen), thus creating the partnership that Google discussed before putting their form of Java on Android, but likely under more expensive terms.

As to taking in changes as part of the JCP: Google has shown that it does not care about pushing changes back downstream; just look at their tweaks from Android onto the Linux kernel that still do not exist in Linux (in fact, I believe they were taken out entirely because they did not work and were left broken).

J2ME does blow though.

Re:An open letter to Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39117345)

The changes would go upstream, not downstream. And some of Android's kernel patches have been merged with mainline. Linus himself stated last year that he expects the two source trees to merge gradually over time. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTAzMTY [phoronix.com]

It's a strategy we've seen before (2, Funny)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113313)

Yes, we saw the same with SCO, Microsoft, and many more. Sadly the plot line reads the same in every script.

Accuser: "They owe us a billion trillion dollars!"

Defendant: "Um, show us what we did wrong."

Accuser: "You stole all the sugar from our candy, and used it in your candy!"

Defendant: "We purchased our own sugar, here's the receipt."

Accuser: "Um.. You owe us one thousand dollars!"

Defendant: "What did we do wrong?"

Accuser: "We were going to buy that sugar, and you cut in line."

So the next act that plays out is going to be whether a jury thinks that taking cuts in line is worth paying the accuser any money for. With SCO, it did not turn out so well. With Microsoft and Apple it has paid off about 1% of the time. Lets hope the court and jury follow the norm and tell Oracle to grow up and act like a big business now.

Re:It's a strategy we've seen before (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115359)

Actually, one facet of the case is overtly weirder than any fantasy scenario you could cook up (pun intended):

Accuser: "You owe us $100,000"

Defendant: "Now what did we do?"

Accuser: " We patented making candy with sugar. You're making candy with sugar. That's one violation. Furthermore, our candy cookbook says you're not allowed to use our recipes to create any candy which would compete with our candy, [groklaw.net], because you'd be violating our patent, and we withdraw your permission to read our cookbook if you violate our patent. You admitted your candy is based on reading our cookbook. You violated our copyright TOO! YOU OWES US BEEG MONEYZ!!!111"

For those who don't want to absorb the entire groklaw article: Oracle's Java specification license attempts to assert its copyright over any work written to implement the specification. If you write a "competing" implementation of the Java API based on the specification, you're retroactively violating the copyright license on the specification you read. That's right, you dirty retroactively violating pirate.

I hope the court realizes what flaming arrogant idiots Oracle is coming across as. And punishes them for it, rather than rewarding them for it, as often happens.

Re:It's a strategy we've seen before (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115705)

Thanks for the additional points. Honestly, there have been some resources posted regarding the EULAs of several companies that try to do the same thing. "We own any idea you come up with while using our product, because it's obviously our product that gave you the idea. You simply are not capable of having ideas without our stuff." AFAIK, Oracle is the first to try and use this in court.

As an acquaintance of mine says"Very odd times we live in." (instead of bitching about the irrational set of laws being shoved down our throats).

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