Friday, August 13, 2010

Oracle takes on Google's Android over Java

AP reports: Oracle says Google's Android system for mobile phones infringes on its patented Java technology.

The Oracle complaint, filed in ND Cal, asserts patent infringement of claims of US 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38,104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520.

Count VIII of the complaint concerns copyright infringement:

Without consent, authorization, approval, or license, Google knowingly, willingly,
and unlawfully copied, prepared, published, and distributed Oracle America’s copyrighted work,
portions thereof, or derivative works and continues to do so. Google’s Android infringes Oracle
America’s copyrights in Java and Google is not licensed to do so.

Among other things, a permanent injunction and treble damages are sought.

David Boies will be involved on behalf of Oracle.


Within ComputerWorld, one has:

As described in official Android documentation, Dalvik is a virtual machine optimized for mobile devices, and all Android applications run in their own process with their own Dalvik instance.

"Dalvik has been written so that a device can run multiple VMs efficiently. The Dalvik VM executes files in the Dalvik Executable (.dex) format which is optimized for minimal memory footprint. The VM is register-based, and runs classes compiled by a Java language compiler that have been transformed into the .dex format by the included "dx" tool," reads an official document about Android for developers. "The Dalvik VM relies on the Linux kernel for underlying functionality such as threading and low-level memory management."

There had been speculation in the past over a possible legal challenge from Sun over Dalvik, and given Android's success, it's no entirely surprising to see Oracle get litigious, IDC analyst Al Hilwa said. However, the fight could seriously harm Android at this point in its development, he added.

"Many expected Sun to raise some hay about Google's fork of the Java code to produce Dalvik, but having waited for Android to be a success can be quite disruptive," Hilwa said via e-mail.

"This is a typical intellectual property value defense lawsuit, but it can have serious consequences on the Android market and its adoption by OEMs. Basically, it says that Oracle wants to get into the action and leverage its acquired Java assets better financially," Hilwa added.

Blogger Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols referred to Google's software [Dalvik ] as a spin-off:

"If I were Google or any other company that has shipped Java spins-offs, I'd be worried. I have a sinking feeling that patent cases, such as this one, are going to be far more troublesome for Linux and open source than any of the bogus SCO copyright claims were...This does not bode well for free and open-source software."



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