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Judge Orders Oracle and Google To Talk, Again

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-all-they-want-is-a-restraining-order dept.

Android 89

Reader Fluffeh snips from and links to Ars Technica with the latest chapter in the ongoing Google vs. Oracle fight involving patents, Java, and Android, writing that executives at both companies were "'ordered to hold one last round of settlement talks no later than April 9th, with the trial over Google's alleged use of Java technology in Android set to begin April 16,' though '[t]he last-ditch effort to avoid a trial seems unlikely to succeed. ... Oracle initially accused Google of violating seven patents, but has since dropped most of them. This is due to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling the patents described technology that was not patentable. Two patents assigned to the Oracle-owned Sun Microsystems remain: #6,061,520 which covers "an improvement over conventional systems for initializing static arrays by reducing the amount of code executed by the virtual machine to statically initialize an array," and #RE38,104 which covers a type of compiler and interpreter."

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than does not equal then (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472923)

no later THAN

Re:than does not equal then (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473179)

Listen, PAL. Timothy has a JOURNALISM DEGREE. He is VERY smart. You shouldn't bother the resident genius with such pedantic trolling, for the rest of his content is superb.
 
Oh, wait...

MODERATORS!!! EMERGENCY!!! CALL THE POLICE!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473339)

or mod parent insightful instead

Re:than does not equal then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473405)

Perhaps he simply used copy and paste?

Re:than does not equal then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474557)

Perhaps he simply used copy and paste?

Listen, timmyboy, one of the responsibilities of being an editor is this concept that we call profreeding whereby the editors check the submissions for spelling, grammatical, and mechanical errors. Just accept that you need to do it every now and then, mmmkay?

Re:than does not equal then (1)

ski9826 (2541112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474853)

What is profreeding?

MODERATORS!!! GIVE PARENT RAT POISON!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39475667)

Who let this third grader on Slashdot? Parent must die. Of the effects of ingesting copious quantities of rat poison.
 
Hurp a durp. What is profreeding. Durp. DURP DEEEERRRRRP. DURP!!!

Re:MODERATORS!!! GIVE PARENT RAT POISON!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39475931)

Proofreading, perhaps?

Re:MODERATORS!!! GIVE PARENT RAT POISON!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39476517)

This entire thread is Ehpik Flail.

Re:MODERATORS!!! GIVE PARENT RAT POISON!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39476885)

LICK MY BALLS, DOUCHEBAG. ARE YOU REALLY THAT STUPID?
 
How can you REALLY have ZERO reading comprehension?
 
Let me spell this out [cast.org] for you.
 
By the way, please suck my nuts. You are that which is wrong with society.
 
(This one's going to go way over his head, too, despite the flying fragments of brain going everywhere as the bullets of double and triple irony make their marks.)

Only applies if static ctors are called clinit? (2)

poizan42 (1689384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472937)

By skimming #6,061,520 it seems to me that google could go free from that one just by calling the static initializers something else than - I don't know if they already do that. But it somehow seems oddly specific that the patent explicitly says "clinit method(s)" instead of just saying static class constructors or something like that - like it's only targeting java without never mentioning java in the claims.

FTFM (-1, Offtopic)

poizan42 (1689384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472945)

... without *ever* mentioning java in the claims.

Re:Only applies if static ctors are called clinit? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472983)

Not really. Skimming the patent, it seems that it is describing a preprocessing stage where you try running all static constructors, record their results, and generate a simplified version. This would be equally applicable to C++ - if all that the constructor does in a global is touch memory then you can just record the memory layout and stick that in the executable. It's quite neat, but I'm not entirely sure it counts as non-obvious, because it's really just an application of constant propagation, which all compilers have done for decades.

Re:Only applies if static ctors are called clinit? (1)

poizan42 (1689384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39476909)

First the abstract as well as the summary of invention directly talks about functions in class files. Of course it's the claims that are really important here.
Claim 1-5 explicitly talks about a clinit method in a class file (2-5 builds on 1).
Claim 6-11 talks about determining what code does by "play executing" it (i.e. simulating) - I can't believe this doesn't have any sort of prior art - seems a lot like some more or less standard optimizations by compilers.
Claim 12-17: again here it's talking about clinit methods in class files
Claim 18-23: "A computer-readable medium containing instructions for controlling a data processing system to perform a method, comprising the steps of: ..." - I think they are claiming rights to create a program that implements claim 6-11 here?

Re:Only applies if static ctors are called clinit? (1)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475543)

I've got to admit, they needed a better summary for that than "An array that uses less code to work", because the definition is incredibly specific. They could do a lot of things to get around this easily and is honestly an oversight on Googles part. However, it's not a question of removing but that they have infringed, several times (and on the level of how specific it is, there's no way they will invalidate this), they really should settle up with them. (Unless Oracle is just claiming they are infringing and they did change that part of the compiler).

For the second one, I had to re-read it several times, they made it incredibly verbally complex for no reason... the problem here is this is really broad and c++ in general infringes on it let alone every other compiler in the world. I'm surprised this made it past the initial killings.

Re:Only applies if static ctors are called clinit? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478265)

I don't know about you, but this patent looks laughably peripheral to Java, never mind whether the patent is bogus or not. If I were a Google lawyer I would be looking forward to my opportunity to humilate Troll Oracle in court.

Then/than (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472939)

I thin you meant "no later than".

Chicken! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472941)

More talks are irrelevant. The objective of both players is to keep going whatever happens so that any future opponent knows "they're totally made, they won't give in, so you have to". Losing the case isn't the worst outcome; wimping out is. So they won't settle.

Re:Chicken! (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478305)

Indeed, Larry Ellison wants to maintain Oracle's reputation as a tough guy. But what he's really doing is establishing Oracle's reputation as a dim witted gorilla.

Patent office people are retarded. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472955)

This is due to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling the patents described technology that was not patentable.

Then why did they have the patents in the first place? This just shows how big of a load of bullshit software patents are. Do they at least get their money back for the patents that are supposedly not patentable? I'd be pissed if I paid $25,000 and then the assholes tell me my patent is invalid.

Re:Patent office people are retarded. (4, Interesting)

samjam (256347) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472967)

No, because the patents increase share price, so the $25,000 per patent was probably money well spent.

Re:Patent office people are retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39476481)

> Do they at least get their money back for the patents that are supposedly not patentable?

No. The patent is granted to collect the fees, if the examiners reject the application they get no fees, no renewals, no revenue. Arguments over the patent are dealt with by the courts.

> I'd be pissed if I paid $25,000 and then the assholes tell me my patent is invalid.

They will only reexamine the patent if another fee is paid to them, they don't care who pays that. So for an invalid patent they collect two sets of fees. If they reject the original application then they don't collect any fees.

These are indulgences.

Re:Patent office people are retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39480085)

No, typically you as an applicant should have an idea of what can be patented -- and if you somehow BS your way through, those fees can act as mild punishment.

Re:Patent office people are retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482237)

>Then why did they have the patents in the first place?

What do you mean? The Patent Office profits regularily from each patent that exists and is upheld for as long as possible, no matter how inane, and not for the ones they reject. Duh.

>Do they at least get their money back for the patents that are supposedly not patentable?

Of course not.

When will patent thuggery end? (5, Interesting)

lostsoulz (1631651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472985)

It seems that IT news is dominated by A litigating against B (lawyers get rich.) C takes on D in a bunch of jurisdictions and has products pulled from shelves (lawyers get rich and consumer choice suffers a hiccup.) Much of the litigation is driven by US tech firms. As a European, I realise our legal systems are less than perfect, but I'd like to understand more about the motivation (beyond $$ alone,) for such active lawyering. Maybe it's all about $$...but isn't everyone getting bored with this?

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473007)

We've sent most of our industry elsewhere. Now we have lawyers and MBAs running the nation. What did you think was going to happen?

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473009)

Lawyers don't seem to be getting bored with it. And like most budget items, you either use them or lose them.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474243)

I guarantee you the lawyers working on this case are bored with it by now.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482041)

Well, considering the Oracle lawyers are involved with that slog known as SCO, maybe they have a high tolerance for boredom (or extremely low tolerance for change and like dealing with one litigation for a decade at a time?).

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39556305)

I guarantee you the lawyers were bored with this case about 30 minutes after it began. I know a lot of lawyers. I don't know any that enjoy anything about what they do besides the money, which to be fair is fantastic.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39581409)

For 90% of lawyers, the money isn't great. 10% do very well, though.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473081)

It depends on the company.
Some companies just want royalties paid on their patent (e.g. the MPEG patents)
Other companies want royalties plus limits on behavior (e.g. Microsoft v Android where Microsoft is rumored to be telling Android vendors what they aren't allowed to do if they want to use Microsoft patents)
Some companies want the infringing product gone completly (Apple v Samsung) and wont even consider licensing.

Some companies, like Google, are not evil about it (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473137)

It spite of Microsoft's smear campaign about Google, I don't think anybody is calling Google a patent scam aggressor.

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473373)

No, what Google's mostly concerned with is defending its immense pile of cash.

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478905)

No, what Google's mostly concerned with is defending its immense pile of cash.

-1, Clueless. Google is mostly concerned about defending its immense share of the search advertising market.

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (0)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474245)

I think a lot of people who actually read the patents that Google.. I mean Motorola.. is in a huff about and the amount they are asking for agree that they are using them as a scam and not trying to simply license them for what they are worth.

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474777)

Quit equating Google with Motorola. Google does NOT own Motorola yet, and are legally prohibited from messing in their affairs until they do. Motorola is, and has been, doing this all on their own.

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474849)

Just like a PAC/SuperPAC isn't allowed to "coordinate" with a candidate....

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39476899)

Actually, Google is supporting Motorola's use of FRAND patents to attack competitors. This tactic by Moto is under investigation for breaking anti-trust laws.

Re:Some companies, like Google, are not evil about (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478915)

You mean, Microsoft is investigating it.

When it's not profitable (4, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473121)

As it is, patents have a fantastic ROI. How much has Apple profited by keeping Samsung off the market with Apple's "rounded corners" patent?

Patents allow you to turn $50K into $50 million. Where else can you get an ROI like that? Maybe lobbying.

Re:When it's not profitable (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473437)

As it is, patents have a fantastic ROI. How much has Apple profited by keeping Samsung off the market with Apple's "rounded corners" patent?

Patents allow you to turn $50K into $50 million. Where else can you get an ROI like that? Maybe lobbying.

fantastic thing about them is that the roi can't be measured. so they can hog all credit. apple vs. samsung didn't probably affect the sales all that much at all. for a little while, in germany they did. but sales profits lost/gained for both companies are probably less than a nice mercedes benz costs(different people buying them + if you really wanted a tab you could have one sent to germany easily). while lawyer costs, costs for state etc are higher.

Re:When it's not profitable (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478921)

patents have a fantastic ROI.

So does organized crime.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473295)

Well since these are publicially traded companies it is usually about money (though i'm sure pride sometimes has an impact too). The main question is whether it is directly about money (judgements/settlements) or indirectly about money (squashing competition and/or forcing them to raise prices).

I think in this case it's pretty directly about money. SUN's model for java was that the desktop/server versions (J2SE/J2EE) are free but the mobile/embedded versions (J2ME) cost money. Google built the android UI/app system around a variant of java (same language but different VM and bytecode format) without using any of suns code in andriod itself (though I beleive they do use sun tools for development) and in the process basically killed J2ME (and it's associated revenue). Sun/oracle didn't like this and decided to throw all the patents they had at google, unfortunately for them (fortunately for google and android users) most of them didn't stick.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39479951)

So exactly like chimpanzees then, crap 'em out and fling 'em.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473347)

These are mostly corporate lawyers. They're well paid but they don't get rich. Or rarely do. If there's a big judgment it goes to investors.

The fights are mostly about tech that should have been found obvious. The patent office is staffed by people who aren't sufficiently expert on the technology they assess. That's the root of the problem.

Re:When will patent thuggery end? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474285)

Actually, patent litigation guys can make good money, though very few lawyers make the kind of money slashdotters think they do. You do raise a good point about big judgments, though.

I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. (1)

chr1st1anSoldier (2598085) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472999)

Maybe I am missing something and not seeing the bigger picture here, but it just seems silly to bring someone to court over how they initialize an array. IMHO, it is actions like these that really show how broken our(The America) patent system really is.

Re:I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473083)

[...]it just seems silly to bring someone to court over how they initialize an array.

At this stage, yes, because that's all that's left of Oracle's initial claims. And that's exactly why the judge is basically telling them "seriously, you really want to waste my time with this? Maybe you want to talk it over and go away."

But this is after months of Oracle having their claims slowly being stripped down. Their original claims were more numerous and greater of scope. You may recall the headlines from a while ago, boasting how they would take Google for all they have because they copied most of Android from JVM and they infringed on tens of patents.

In all fairness, once brought into the light these broken patents don't survive for long. So at least there's that... the bad part is that you need Google's money to pay lawyers a lot in order to get to do that. Smaller companies would simply fold.

scox-scam is in it's tenth year (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473169)

The case was obviously meritless from day one.

To this day, scox has not produced any evidence, and the courts are okay with that.

If our legal was not FUBAR, it would have gone like this:

scox: IBM stole our code and put it into Linux!!!!!
court: can you identify the code in question?
scox: absolutely not.
court: case dismissed.

dette (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473017)

detetereretre

Patents are pretty irrelevant here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473027)

The real question is, "Had Google violated Oracle's copyrighted Java code?"

If so, Google is in deep doo-doo.

Re:Patents are pretty irrelevant here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473153)

The real question is, "Had Google violated Oracle's copyrighted Java code?"

You haven't been following the proceedings, have you? If you were, you'd know this question has been answered a while ago. These two pantents are pretty much all that's left of Oracle's initial claims, including copyright infringement (which I don't even know why they ever brought up, it was the weakest of their claims, given Google's "white room" approach.)

I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473181)

How could Google have "violoated" F/OSS code?

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473427)

If you have a new patentable method, it's covered in any language you code it in. If it then gets included in a compiler or library, that violates your patent.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39476629)

The post I was responding to, has the following subject line: "Patents are pretty irrelevant here."

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474279)

Because Java isn't F/OSS in the way you think it is. It is technically free, and it is technically open source, but it doesn't use the same license most F/OSS projects do. It's more a READ-ONLY OSS, and you aren't allowed to change it unless sun/oracle says you can.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39479007)

You do not have the slightest clue what you are talking about. Java is licensed under GPL. Oracle keeps control of the conformance tests, the trademark, and some bogus patents and mutters from time to time about distributing new JREs under some restrictive license but so far as not done so.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39479267)

How quickly one forgets how sun sued Microsoft and forced them to stop distributing their JVM. Unless you consider java somehow unrelated to the vm required to run java, you can't change, enhance or fork it like any other FOSS project. See sun vs Microsoft for full details.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480169)

That was over the trademark. You are confused.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480413)

You are confused. Sun only claimed trademark abuse because it was the easiest route to go. They yanked Microsoft's ability to claim "Java Compatible" because they specifically created tests (called signature tests) to check for the exact changes that Microsoft made and declared that the tests failed and therefore it isn't compliant. So yes, you are free to make changes unless Sun/Oracle decides they don't like it, then they create tests to make your changes "invalid", and then declare you can't mention the word Java anywhere or they will sue you for trademark violation. Call that FOSS if you want, but I don't. It's definitely not "FREE" as most people understand it to be.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481033)

You are free to make changes, period. Sun is free to drag their heels about certifying your changed code base as "Java" and that they do. So in general you may not call it Java. Which is where Microsoft went wrong (intentionally) and had to pay out billions. You are not only confused, but you are spreading FUD about what one may or may not do with GPL licensed software.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481605)

First, it as $20 million, not billions, well unless you consider $0.02 billions.

"It's pretty simple: This is a victory for our licensees and consumers," Sun CEO Scott McNealy said in a statement. "The community wants one Java technology: one brand, one process and one great platform. We've accomplished that, and this agreement further protects the authenticity and value of Sun's Java technology."

Oh, yes, that sure sounds like they allow for forks, and code additions. Straight from the CEO's mouth.

"With the deal struck, Cullinan said Microsoft will be allowed to continue to offer its existing Java products, including its popular J++ development tool, for the next seven years.".

Oh, I guess Microsoft isn't free to...anything at all with the code. Not even an IDE for Java. Is that you definition of free?

"Sun's Rich Green, general manager of Java Software at Sun, said the company could have prohibited Microsoft from distributing even an older version of Java."

Doesn't sound free to me at all.

"Sun sued Microsoft in 1997, charging that the Redmond, Wash.-based company breached its contract by trying to extend Java so it would work differently, and presumably better, on Windows computers. One of Sun's main arguments in the case was that Microsoft wrongfully advertised that its products were Java-compatible because, in Sun's eyes, they were not." -- ZDNET

Again, Sun sued Microsoft for making changes to their version of the JVM that they didn't like.

"On March 11, 1996, Sun and Microsoft entered into a licensing agreement which allows Microsoft to use, modify and adapt Java Technology. Microsoft proceeded to use Java Technology in developing MS Internet Explorer 4.0, and other software products. Sun alleges that Microsoft has refused to adhere to Sun's most recent set of Java specifications and Java API," -- court documents

As I said, Sun changed their specifications AFTER Microsoft made changes to their JVM so it would fail their "specifications", and then they could claim it wasn't in conformance with the specification.

""Will MS be permitted to use Sun's Java Compatible Logo to promote and distribute its Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products even though its products fail to pass Sun's compatibility tests suite, and therefore fail to satisfy the conditions for use of Sun's trademark."" -- court documents

Again, the compatibility test suite that was specifically written to fail the changes Microsoft made.

"Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Whyte's determination that Sun is likely to prevail on its claim that Microsoft violated its agreement with Sun by:

        Adding unauthorized keywords and compiler directives
        Modifying its compiler to support Microsoft's unauthorized extensions
        Failing to implement the standard Java native method interface, called JNI, in the products Microsoft distributes.
"

Again, not very open if you aren't allowed to change and distribute code that you've modified yourself. So JAVA is completely open, but you can't change anything, nor can you add anything, and you must implement everything that Sun tells you to, or Sun will take you to court to have all your work removed and barring you from distributing anything.

So are you:
A) Saying JAVA *IS* F/OSS as we know it, and if you use F/OSS, you can expect the same type of behavior and be under the same set of restrictions as above, OR
B) JAVA is *NOT* F/OSS.

Please pick one.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482123)

Java was GPL'd more than a decade after that happened.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483595)

If my more than a decade after, you mean it was announced november 16, 1996, 6 months prior to the lawsuit, then you would be correct.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474693)

The JDK and JRE are open source, and that not relevent.
The JME was never opened, and that this is about.

Re:I though Java was F/OSS? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475465)

How could Google have "violoated" F/OSS code?

Java SE (J2SE) is F/OSS. Sun/Oracle has given patent licenses to any implementation of Java SE that meet some compatibility standard. Thus, OpenJDK is legal (because it's based off the referense Java SE implementation).

However, the money maker for Java has ALWAYS been Java ME (aka J2ME). Billions of cellphones, each of which is paying Sun/Oracle licensing fees for the patents in order to implement J2ME. And Android unfortunately impements J2ME (they could've gone J2SE, it's not like modern cellphones are lacking in CPU or memory these days). Thus they're in violation of the patents.

As a side note, Microsoft also has to pay for those Java patents as they're used in the .NET CLR.

The FOSS stuff is only for J2SE and the patent licensing is also for just J2SE.

Android unfortunately impements J2ME- not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39475789)

Wrong! Android uses Java SE

patent insanity (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473085)

"an improvement over conventional systems for initializing static arrays by reducing the amount of code executed by the virtual machine to statically initialize an array,"

You can get a patent for stuff like that?

Fuck me sideways! I need to get a couple hundred patent applications filed!

Re:patent insanity (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473101)

Fuck me sideways!

Three questions:
1. Are you hot?
2. Where do you live?
3. When can we meet?

Sideways sounds intriguing ;-)

Re:patent insanity (1)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473555)

I'm not sure I've seen flirting on /. before.

Re:patent insanity (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474831)

Make no mistake, there's no flirting going on here ;-)

You will need a few million for lawyer fees (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473207)

But, you are right. The ROI for patent scamming can be fantastic. But, be aware, even meritless cases, like the scox scam, can go on for ten years. And major tech companies can drop $100 million on a lawsuit without batting an eyelash.

To put it perspective, Apple earns about $14 billion a quarter. It's nothing for Apple to throw a few million dollars at a patent suit.

Re:You will need a few million for lawyer fees (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475133)

It's nothing for Apple to throw a few million dollars at a patent suit.

The business plan isn't to win a lawsuit. The business plan is to make it cheaper and more convenient for them to make me go away with a nice settlement than actually have the lawsuit happen.

Re:patent insanity (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473933)

You can get a patent for stuff like that?

You can get a patent for clicking once on a mouse button.

Re:patent insanity (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474219)

I'd start by patenting sideways fucking.

How is this patentable? (4, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473281)

At first, I assumed that this was about some complex algorithm like finding the greatest common subsets in a large set of static values or something similarly esoteric, but nope, it's trivial:

The preloader identifies all <clinit> methods and play executes these methods to determine the static initialization performed by them. The preloader then creates an expression indicating the static initialization performed by the <clinit> method and stores this expression in the .mclass file, replacing the <clinit> method. As such, the code of the <clinit> method, containing many instructions, is replaced by a single expression instructing the virtual machine to perform static initialization, thus saving a significant amount of memory. The virtual machine is modified to recognize this expression and perform the appropriate static initialization of an array.

It's so trivial that you don't even need to read the body of the patent to completely understand it! I can even boil it down to just three words: compile-time memoization,

Not only that, but this is hardly a concept unique to Java, there's even a Wiki article for it [wikipedia.org] ! Maybe Oracle should sue the inventors of the D Language, and the C++ committees too while they're at it, because if you use template meta-programming to initialise a static variable, then you've infringed -- or close enough anyway to be sued into bankruptcy.

The reason few (if any) compilers used static initializer memoization before 1998 is because most of the commonly used general-purpose languages with a concept of "static" weren't safe back then, so the compiler couldn't execute small arbitrary chunks of code without risking a crash or strange side-effects. The only reason Java could introduce this feature is because of a convenient side-effect of compiling a safe language -- not because someone had invented either compile-time evaluation, memoization, or the combination of the two. That, and nobody had over-used static values sufficiently while simultaneously caring enough about startup performance to bother implementing such a complex feature given the marginal performance advantage. You could probably demonstrate prior art by just pointing out that most compilers evaluate constant expressions at compile time, so "static int foo = 5 + 5" is basically the same thing as what the patent is claiming.

How did "of the people, by the people, for the people" turn into "of the inept, by the litigious, for the corrupt"?

Re:How is this patentable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473777)

"It's so trivial that you don't even need to read the body of the patent to completely understand it!"

I stopped reading your post after that sentence. What matters in a patent is the *claims*. The rest is basically just padding that has little or no impact on what is actually patented. Maybe you can come to the same conclusion after reading the claims, but that is very seldom the case, so come back after you've analyzed those.

Re:How is this patentable? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39479041)

I stopped reading your post after that sentence.

You did yourself a disservice.

Re:How is this patentable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474165)

How did "of the people, by the people, for the people" turn into "of the inept, by the litigious, for the corrupt"?

If you simply start with the assumption that people are corrupt, inept litigants then it all makes sense.

Re:How is this patentable? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481465)

Maybe Oracle should sue the inventors of the D Language, and the C

They don't have databse technologies Oracle wants cross-licensing on.

How did "of the people, by the people, for the people" turn into "of the inept, by the litigious, for the corrupt"?

Romantic propaganda conflicts with observed reality.

what? (2)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473523)

"an improvement over conventional systems for initializing static arrays by reducing the amount of code executed by the virtual machine to statically initialize an array,"

What the hell? How is this one patent-worthy? so wait, refactoring is patented?

Re:what? (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473701)

so the patent itself admits to prior art, but that this way is better. The phrase "an improvement" should mean that anyone else coule use the idea and just " but ours is one better". Another improvement is apparently an entirely different concept and previous patents cannot be applied or considered.

Re:what? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474835)

People misunderstand how prior art works in patent law. Patent law allows for patententing improvements over an existing method, regardless of weather the original method is patended or not (providing, of course that if patented, you have a license). People also forget that while being inventive necessitates being innovative, the inverse is not true, they are no synomyms.

It's the whole point of the patent system, Sun came upon an existing method, and figured out (read: innovated) a better way to do it, and that's entirely legit. Prior art is not some kind of magical silver patent invalidating bullet.

It irks me amost as much as people who don't differentiate between trademark law with patent law, you get to choose who is and is not allowed to use your patent and under what terms, it's not like trademark law where you have to sue everyone to keep it.

"derp derp why don't they sue x and y over z? lol *smug*" because they get to choose who they sue and who they don't.

What happened to the regression tests? (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474445)

Were Oracle's claims that the regression test suite was illegally used/incorporated by Google dropped?

I'd actually thought those were the only claims Oracle had any legal standing with. If they've been knocked down, I foresee a good result for Google and Android.

Re:What happened to the regression tests? (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474671)

Since that was never actually distributed (just inadvertently made public on a server), there was no infringement there...

PubPat FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474533)

Join the fight good people..

http://www.pubpat.org/

moot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39556147)

I don't live in the real world until I see a real summons. Then God is my attourney and it's a circus.

God says...
C:\LoseThos\www.losethos.com\text\2CITIES.TXT

-three or four--I don't know how many--
I can't collect my thoughts. An errand of generosity brought him
here unknown to us; he was stopped at the barrier, and sent to prison."

The old man uttered an irrepressible cry. Almost at the same moment,
the beg of the great gate rang again, and a loud noise of feet and
voices came pouring into the courtyard.

"What is that noise?" said the Doctor, turning towards the window.

"Don't look!" cried Mr. Lorry. "Don't look out! Manette,
for your life, d

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