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Oracle vs Google: stay cool

Posted by fabriziogiudici on August 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM PDT

So, today's big scoop is Oracle suing Google for a number of alleged patent infringements with Android. Doomsday announcements are spreading all over the world, as you might expect. So, are we going to die with loud screams?

Follow my advice: stay cool and go on as usual. Keep yourself informed (and before anything else have a read at the Oracle Complaint that is attached to the URL I've linked above). Don't listen to the screaming crowd. Don't believe that Oracle really wants to shut down Android. The Complaint is not what Oracle wants to achieve, it's just the weapon to achieve something else. Let's track how the legal things go on, let's see how Google reacts and let's wait for some developments before deciding whether things are going to be worse or better for us (both things could happen).

For sure with Ellison we won't get bored, even though I must say I don't have problems in finding interesting things in my life and I would have avoided this.

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End game

What exactly does Oracle want to achieve? One thing is for sure, Oracle is not Sun and I miss Sun's take on things. I think Sun was a great steward of Java because evenually it listened to the developers. I do not think nor feel Oracle would do the same. What is interesting is that there was no public discussions on where Google's work with Java is going and what it means to Java, just a bunch of lawsuits and patent ones at that. And If this is not something that is aimed at Android then I don't know what is. So I will take your advise to stay cool with a pinch of salt Fabrizio because this suit is in the same category as Sun's suit against Microsoft against their JVM all those years ago. And given all that has changed in the Java landscape since that suit I don't think any of that matters any more. I like coding for the Android and I for one am glad that Oracle doesn't control that platform.

Not Surprised

It all seems rather clear-cut to me. Google forfeit their rights under Sun/Oracle patent pledge by failing to implement a complete SE runtime environment. OK.

So now one of three things can happen:

  1. Google drops Dalvik and implements a complete JSE. (that would be my favourite)
  2. Google licenses the patents, continues as before, Oracle cashes in.
  3. Google switches to another technology. (unlikely, and I really wouldn't want to see that happen)

cajo--the issue isn't that

cajo--the issue isn't that Google isn't fully implementing the JVM or Java library, but that the "field of use" restrictions don't allow anyone to produce a free Java implementation for a mobile device. The rationale is presumably that mobile devices bring in royalty dollars.

That's why Google uses a different VM. That VM and its core library allegedly infringe upon some patents that Oracle owns. I suppose Google could reimplement their VM and core library to work around some or all of those patents. For example, it would seem that there are other methods for providing security than the Java security architecture that US patent 6125447 describes. Of course, that would further fragment the Java platform.