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Google's Official Position on Oracle Allegations

10.06.2010
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Google filed its answer to the responsible court this week in reference to the Oracle lawsuit, which claims that the Android OS infringed on Java licenses by using a modified version of the JVM for Android's Dalvik VM.  Here's the document:

Google Answer and Counterclaims v. Oracle (Filed)

Oracle has accused Google of violating seven Sun patents including:  6,125,447, 6,192,476, 5,966,702, 7,426,720, RE38,104, 6,910,205 and 6,061,520.  Google denies that it infringes on these patents and asks the presiding judge to invalidate them.  Google has called Oracle's actions an attack on the entire open source community.  A spokesperson recently pointed out the hypocrisy of Oracle's criticism when Sun would not release official TCKs under open source, but now they won't fully open source the Java platform themselves.

In the document above, Google argues that Sun made provisions saying that the JVM could be modified for custom implementations.  They also say that Android is important for the Java community because it has promoted the language with a fast-growing mobile platform.

Oracle's Debora Hellinger responded to the document saying:

“In developing Android, Google chose to use Java code without obtaining a license. Additionally, it modified the technology so it is not compliant with Java’s central design principle to “write once and run anywhere.” Google’s infringement and fragmentation of Java code not only damages Oracle, it clearly harms consumers, developers and device manufacturers.”

For further evidence of the tangled litgation-web that the mobile industry weaves, check out the "Who's Suing Whom?" chart.

Any thoughts on this new development?

Comments

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Wed, 2010/10/06 - 2:09pm

Clearly harms consumers and developers?

Hm, I didn't notice my colleague getting harmed when he was ecstatically touting his new Android phone and saying how much better it was than his previous IPhone.

Nor did I as a developer feel harmed that Google has allowed me to reuse my existing Java skills in a whole new field.

Oracle patent allegations may be valid or not, but using the "harms developers and consumers" phrase is hugely misguided.

Andrew McVeigh replied on Wed, 2010/10/06 - 2:19pm in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

Oracle patent allegations may be valid or not, but using the "harms developers and consumers" phrase is hugely misguided.

That's lawyerspeak for you.  I think the original oracle complaint also asked for every single android device to be recalled ;-) That's realistic!

The google reply is interesting, in that it doesn't presume a single thing.  i.e. if the wording of the oracle complaint doesn't specify what precisely they are complaining about, then the google reply says something like "google does not have enough information to decide, and therefore denies the claim".  apparently this is a common game -- side A says that side B is infringing using vague language, hoping side B will assume it's something that has been concerning side B internally for a while.  if side B then respond by saying something like "our XYZ technology does not infringe" then side A are allowed to include technology XYZ in the depositions and get all non-privileged information on it.  Nasty.

I had to deal with lawyers recently regarding a potential patent violation.  The words they use are traps.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Wed, 2010/10/06 - 4:26pm in response to: Andrew McVeigh

Either way, lawyers on both sides must be congratulating themselves on winning such a prolonged and lucrative case..this one is gonna go for a while.

Jonathan Fisher replied on Wed, 2010/10/06 - 4:41pm

>>"not only damages Oracle, it clearly harms consumers, developers and device manufacturers."

Yeah bull. Hey Oracle, how about your stop blowing off the JCP and we'll believe you ok? Google is going to win this case easily based on your actions with the open source community already.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2010/10/06 - 5:04pm in response to: Jonathan Fisher

I don't think that the open source community is called to formulate the final sentence.

As Jacek said, what really pisses me off is the amount of money lawyers take just for formulating ambiguous wording. And they're slow too: the first discussion in front of the judge is scheduled for Nov 19, if I'm not wrong.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Wed, 2010/10/06 - 6:46pm

After all this BS of patents and lawsuit between companies, I really would like to go back to C++ and focus on my development and no worry anymore if Java have a future or who is the owner of Java and all that crap that we Java developers suffer since the 90's with Sun Microsytems and the ownership of Java, Why Java is not an open standard language?!. The problem is lots of projects are already made with Java even my personal projects are in Java.

Manjuka Soysa replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 12:20am

"In developing Android, Google chose to use Java code without obtaining a license."

Yes, probably

"Additionally, it modified the technology so it is not compliant with Java’s central design principle to “write once and run anywhere.”

Err what about J2ME? WORA doesn't apply there - for good reason!

"Google’s infringement and fragmentation of Java code not only damages Oracle, it clearly harms consumers, developers and device manufacturers."

Aww Java developers are so upset that finally there is a popular Java-like mobile platform which can compete with iPhone.

Alosh Bennett replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 12:31am

I buy the argument about them not being J2ME compliant. But .dex files? I can see them running on any other jvm.

Liam Knox replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 1:19am in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

I think you need to look long term. Is fragmentation a good thing ? I dont think so. I am not fully upto date interms of technically what make this incompatible and why they needed to so, but my overall feeling is this point is valid.

Certainly what Microsoft initially tired to do was completely wrong and they were quiet rightly made to conceed.

Andrew replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 2:44am

Oracle /Sun could blame only themselves for the Java Mobile fragmentation after what they did: CDC, CLDC, MIDP, Personal Java Basic Profile, Personal Java etc… etc… etc …..

Look at this madness of JSRs and configurations
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javame/overview/products-jsp-136507.html

 

Pooria Mellati replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 7:36am

I admit I buy into Oracle's claims that google is fragmenting java.

After all, Java the language itself is not so great as there are better ones like C# out there, but what ultimately makes Java so better than those other languages is the community behind it that makes it great, not the language itself.

 Therefore, I think we should mind companies running around making their own "Java"s, no matter how much they'll improve Java. If that is allowed to happen, then suddenly we'll have so many Javas we won't even be able to count. When that happens, the JCP will be meaningless, as every one will boss their own Java.

 Subsequently there will be a handfull of "popular" javas that people will use more often, with the difference that those javas will be developed non-democratically and by single companies.

I think we allready have such a java, its called C#.

My 2 cents.

Liam Knox replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 8:33am in response to: Pooria Mellati

Fortunately that bastard son of Java only runs on Miki mouse operating systems that don't work

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 10:37am in response to: Pooria Mellati

Well, it's not really Java the language that changes, but rather the libraries it uses (e.g. the Android UI instead of Swing or whatever). I think that's a pragmatic compromise.

I mean what would you prefer? For Google to pick Javascript for Android development instead? *ugh*

Mark Haniford replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 11:28am in response to: Liam Knox

Fortunately that bastard son of Java only runs on Miki mouse operating systems that don't work

 

 So you think Linux and BSDs are Miki mouse operating systems?

Liam Knox replied on Thu, 2010/10/07 - 5:45pm in response to: Mark Haniford

Dont sight the Mono initiative that would quite easily but put down if Microsoft ever thought it would lead to a competitive issue. In practice, where is it used?

I also read some articles where the founder seemed to be losing faith in the whole thing and basically depressed

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 12:16am in response to: Liam Knox

Dont sight the Mono initiative that would quite easily but put down if Microsoft ever thought it would lead to a competitive issue. In practice, where is it used?

...random "engrish" that didn't make any sense.

I also read some articles where the founder seemed to be losing faith in the whole thing and basically depressed

Yeah, you're imaging things.

 But as it turned out, Java is "Mickey Mouse" compared to C#. 

 

Liam Knox replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 2:57am in response to: Mark Haniford

Answer the questions son. Where is Mono used? If it was very popular is it in Microsofts interest to promote it or damage it ? Where is C# compared to Java on the server side or hand held device world? Where is C# compared to Java community wise.

And if you want to talk language design, look at your C# library code and see the great this == null checks to see the designer and best completely mental as this was an expected feature.

Oh and after, go and learn how to code.

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 7:18am in response to: Liam Knox

Answer the questions son. Where is Mono used? If it was very popular is it in Microsofts interest to promote it or damage it ? Where is C# compared to Java on the server side or hand held device world? Where is C# compared to Java community wise.

 

With all your questions boy, it looks like you're pretty ignorant about a lot of things and need to learn. I'll give you some advice. Stop living in a bubble.
And if you want to talk language design, look at your C# library code and see the great this == null checks to see the designer and best completely mental as this was an expected feature.

 

..more incomprehensible "engrish"
Oh and after, go and learn how to code.

 

You need to learn english and how to code.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 9:59am in response to: Mark Haniford

I think most Java programmers would go Scala/Groovy/Python/Ruby/Node.js much faster then they would ever trust their professional careers to the patent/legal mine trap that is Mono.

I did 5 years in .Net (starting with the first beta) and the blatant "I don't need to think cause MSDN will tell me everything I need to know" was overwhelming in that crowd. Not to mention the "everything that Microsoft does is the best and way better than anything else" religious fervor that they all have. Give me a break....

More than the language itself I am perplexed by the absence of proper engineering principles in many C# projects. We recently came across a huge C# app, 200 tables in SQL Server, deployed in production. Number of unit tests: ZERO. Yes, ZERO. Not a single unit for a large code base like that.

On our Java team we do TDD all day long, running integration tests via Maven. That's the real difference.

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 10:59am in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

 

I think most Java programmers would go Scala/Groovy/Python/Ruby/Node.js much faster then they would ever trust their professional careers to the patent/legal mine trap that is Mono.

 

 Most programmers don't have a choice in the matter.   The whole "patent/legal mine trap that is Mono" has been played to death.  And that's pretty funny considering that Oracle is suing Google, and now it turns out that Mono could be much safer than Java.  But generally, you people wish that Mono was a patent/legal trap

 

I did 5 years in .Net (starting with the first beta) and the blatant "I don't need to think cause MSDN will tell me everything I need to know" was overwhelming in that crowd. Not to mention the "everything that Microsoft does is the best and way better than anything else" religious fervor that they all have. Give me a break....

 

 I guess calling .NET developers dumb and projecting makes you feel better about your technology change.  Of course the other technologies move forward and Java stands still year after year.  Maybe that says something about Java developers.

 

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 11:26am in response to: Mark Haniford

Well, I guess we're just have to agree to disagree :-)

And I am not calling my C# colleagues dumb, they were pretty smart people most of them...just very religiously addicted to one particular technology and unable to admit any failing with it.

And we developers have every choice in the matter...if I didn't have a choice, I would still be in .Net. I took the first chance to get out and embraced it. Never looked back and now I get to code on Linux all day long (in both Java and Python). So much for no choice.

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 11:33am in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

Yes, we'll disagree. 

You're right that we have choices to move from one job to another.  I was talking about within a particular organizaiton though.  I've decided that we're moving from Java to .NET/Mono.  We'll develop on Linux/Windows and deploy to Linux/Mono.  

I really like the framework choices in Javaland, but Java (the language is very stagnant) and Scala, Groovy, Clojure aren't options for us at this time.

 I think ideally Google would take a stand against Oracle and either officially endorse something like Groovy, Groovy++, Scala and put a lot of resources behind it to get the IDE/framework/tooling support up to Java standards, or develop a nice language of their own for the JVM that can be used by a wide variety of developers with different experiences.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 11:49am in response to: Mark Haniford

Well, good for you. I am sure Mono is a decent choice (and with the new garbage collector that just came out in 2.8 it should address some of the performance concerns I've seen mentioned in the past).

We are super productive with our regular Java/Maven/Spring/Hibernate stack and I don't see a reason to change. Every technology has its pluses and minuses and I am sure in time you'll find Mono is not all perfect either...like everything else.

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 2:54pm in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

If I could wave a magic wand, I would have Google get behind Groovy++ in a big way.  You get the nice readability of Groovy,  the potential of awesome IDE support like you have in Java,  powerful metaprogramming capabilities, static typing when you want, dyanmic typing when you need....

Liam Knox replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 5:39pm in response to: Mark Haniford

Congratulations in not answering any of the questions posed. Your prize... C#

Liam Knox replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 5:41pm in response to: Mark Haniford

Answer one question. I will give you a cat bisciuit for your effort.

Liam Knox replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 6:58pm in response to: Mark Haniford

I've tried my best but I can't find one success story of Mono. I here by certify this technology dead.

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 7:00pm

I'm not your personal google.   But answering your so-called questions isn't going to help your ignorance.  It's doubtful you're even a developer.

Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 7:01pm in response to: Liam Knox

It's doubtful you're even capable of using Google.

Liam Knox replied on Fri, 2010/10/08 - 7:04pm in response to: Mark Haniford

I rest my case. Mono is dead. C# is a monkey language running on an Miki mouse OS. And you cannot prove otherwise based on your complete lack of ability to show otherwise.

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