Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Oct 2010 21:56 UTC
Legal So, Google has finally officially responded (thanks for hosting, Engadget) to Oracle's patent and copyright infringement lawsuit against the search giant's Android mobile operating system. Apart from boatloads of pages on how Google pretty much denies any and all claims, there's a lot of interesting stuff in there - stuff that doesn't seem to bode well if the courts do decide Google is infringing Oracle's patents. It also makes it crystal clear that anyone who values Free and open source software should avoid Oracle products like the plague.
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To clairity things...
by JPowers27 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 23:28 UTC
JPowers27
Member since:
2008-07-30

OpenJDK is a procedure/function library used by programs running on the VM.

Dalvik is a VM.

Any patents for Java VM are unlikely to affect Dalvik since they are totally different VMs. Dalvik is closer to the old PCode VM then the Java VM.

The only patents Google has to worry about are the ones covering the Java Standard Libraries (SDK). I'm not sure how you would patent a set of base functions.

Any patents in the Java compiler are also moot. Google doesn't include the compiler. Google has a java-byte-code to dalvik-byte-code compiler. They also have an assembler that generates dalvik-byte-code directly. Also, there are multiple java-byte-code compilers and Android's converter will be happy with the output of any of them.

Harmony doesn't include any Sun source code in the library (it's a clean room version). Google removed the user interface sections of Harmony and replaced them with an Android GUI. Thus they violate no copyrights.

Any patents in Java should be thrown out. You can't patent an abstract idea. Thus, how can you patent an abstract idea running on an abstract machine.

Reply Score: 2

RE: To clairity things...
by nt_jerkface on Wed 6th Oct 2010 05:23 in reply to "To clairity things..."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26



Any patents for Java VM are unlikely to affect Dalvik since they are totally different VMs. Dalvik is closer to the old PCode VM then the Java VM.


Oracle contends that Davlik is not a clean room implementation.

There was a blogger a while back who not only predicted this would happen but also correctly identified the part of Davlik that Oracle would target.

Google's defense questions the motivations of Oracle and their position on open source which tells me that they are afraid of simply refuting the charges.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: To clairity things...
by wirespot on Wed 6th Oct 2010 07:45 in reply to "RE: To clairity things..."
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Oracle contends that Davlik is not a clean room implementation.


And that is the gist of the matter, the only solid thing in the Oracle claims. But it has to do more with copyright than with patents. Oracle will have to show what pieces of code Google copied verbatim from the official Sun JDK.

I personally find it hard to believe there are any. If Google says it did a clean room implementation, it must have. The only claim Oracle could have is with the fact Google lured developers from Sun in order to do so. But that falls in the realm of trade secrets, NDAs, unfair competition and so on, not copyright. Not unless those developers managed to replicate entirely from memory verbatim copies of large pieces of code they previously wrote while at Sun.

Google's defense questions the motivations of Oracle and their position on open source which tells me that they are afraid of simply refuting the charges.


You must have read the summaries wrong (or had them explained wrong to you). Google is refuting the claims (not "charges"). Not only this, Google is going for a summary dismissal of the case altogether and asking for Oracle to pay their expenses. That's a very aggressive stance for such an early point in such a case.

Why would that work? By piecing together a couple of issues, some of which you touched on above:

1) The Dalvik code is completely open, so Oracle could have very easily pointed out exactly what pieces infringe their copyrights. They didn't, why? The law in the US says the accuser has to show all the facts so the defendant can defend themselves, not keep them guessing. PJ at Groklaw gave a nice analogy, which was actually used by a magistrate in the SCO trials (SCO tried this with IBM): it's like a store detective grabbing a person, claiming they stole a product, but instead of saying what product and that they saw them take it, they give them a catalog and tell them "find the product in here, you know what you took!" You can't do that, yet that's basically what Oracle's doing. (And SCO was punished later in the trials for doing this, may I add.)

2) Oracle used to be on the same side as Google, criticizing Sun for the terms they chose to make JDK open. And now, after taking over, they do an 180 turn. Don't thing that such ill-intent and hypocrisy isn't relevant in a court of law. The judges are not blind and not so easily swayed by technicalities. That Oracle did this is saying something, both about their copyright and their patent claims; see estoppel for instance.

It is perfectly feasible for Google to succeed in dismissing the case for the above reasons. That means Oracle's claims would go *poof* instantly, no litigation necessary. Not to mention paying Google's expenses in all this.

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"You can't patent an abstract idea."

Rational Thought was patented early on. The USPTO and similar do not have rights to make use of that patented process.

Reply Parent Score: 5

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"You can't patent an abstract idea." Rational Thought was patented early on. The USPTO and similar do not have rights to make use of that patented process.


If the USPTO genuinely granted a patent on an abstract idea, rather than on an implementation of an idea, then that is merely an error on the part of the USPTO.

The law is clear enough ... one can apply for patents on new methods of doing things, but not on the abstract idea of doing that thing itself.

Reply Parent Score: 2