Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Google responds on Android lawsuit

The WSJ noted: Google Inc. (GOOG) has fired back at Oracle Corp. (ORCL), denying all seven of the software maker's claims of infringement on patents and copyright, and arguing that Oracle is now attacking open-source licensing policies it used to support.

The Internet search giant asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to dismiss Oracle's lawsuit and also asked the judge to declare the patents in question invalid.

Thom Holwerda writes:

In the counterclaims, Google describes where the Dalvik VM comes from, and what pieces it consists of. The conclusion is this: Google does not have a license for the patents and/or copyrights associated with the Java programming language, platform, and runtime environment, and the company knew this all along. If the judges decide Google infringes upon these patents, Google is boned.

Let's back up for a second, and look at how we got here - a more point-by-point summary can be found over at Engadget. Sun open sourced Java SE under the GPL back in 2006 and 2007. However, and this is the key, Sun wouldn't give you patent and copyright licenses unless your implementation also passes the Technology Compatibility Kit from Sun. The problem is how this TCK is licensed; it comes with all sorts of restrictions on use that don't sit well with the Apache Foundation. The Apache Foundation has been trying to get a license without these restrictions ever since.

As Google gleefully points out several times, Oracle used to be squarely on Apache's side in this debate, urging Sun quite strongly on several occasions to provide said license to Apache. For instance, Oracle supported a motion that "TCK licenses must not be used to discriminate against or restrict compatible implementations of Java specifications by including field of use restrictions on the tested implementations or otherwise.

Previous post:



Post a Comment

<< Home