back to article Oracle goes in hard on Google Java suit

Oracle has updated its patent infringement suit against Google. Now the enterprise software corporation has point-blank accused the ad broker of directly copying its Java code, according to reports. According to InfoWorld, the originally vague suit now includes specific examples of code that Oracle claims Google had filched to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google <> Evil*

    * Only for certain values of evil.

  2. Code Monkey

    SCO vs Linux 2

    So having watched SCO jizz their company up the wall, Larry's decided that's the way he wants to go?

    1. Eugene Crosser

      Size matters

      SCO did inflict some damage on Linux by spreading FUD and making some people hold of its adoption, and eventually lost. When dust settled, SCO was bankrupt.

      Oracle will inflict some damage on Java and/or Open Source in general, eventually loose like SCO did, but will not find itself bankrupt.

      That's the difference.

      1. jcipale

        whoracle - the new SCO

        i can just see larry flagrantly flogging himself over this. A disturbing thought.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite...

      SCO was a company with no real business plan other than litigation and largely irrelevant outside of its small sphere of influence. Oracle is a giant of a company, and the cost of this lawsuit is small change.

      Oh, and SCO vs Novell was about copyright, not patents.

    3. breakfast

      SCO didn't own Linux

      The thing is that unlike SCO with Linux, Oracle genuinely do own Java, so I think they have a lot more chance to destroy it properly.

      I have no idea why they would want to destroy it, but it appears they do and having bought the IP when they bought Sun I guess that is their right.

      I guess it's time was coming anyway.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge


        To judge from the article (references to code samples) this case is about copyrights too. But yes, it will take the lawyers longer to drain Oracle. It is a one-trick pony, but a very big pony.

  3. Is it me?

    I would of thought that:

    Any bunch of halfway decent coders, and a specification for Java then there's a pretty good chance of having a great similarity in code.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      Surely you jest.

      In today's climate, the 'skilled' IT workers merely cut-n-pasted the code because after all, it was open source code and free. ;-)

    2. Jonathan Richards 1

      You would what?

      You would of thought? Jeez, it's HAVE. You would HAVE thought... Past subjunctive tense if I'm not mistaken. If you can't be arsed to press four keys to type HAVE, try the 've contraction, which manages to save you one key press and is still recognisably English.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's probably true

      Especially as quite a large number of those coders were hired away from Sun.

  4. Ben 56

    Now we know why Orackle bought Sun

    Buy company, get rid of highly skilled staff by annoying them (cheaper than redundancy payments), set attack lawyers on those companies allegedly infinging the newly purchased IP. This will help claw back costs of buying said company whilst putting competitors at a disadvantage even if that is just FUD over the IP.

    Fact of the matter is that whilst Android is fragmented due to platform, Sun did that by design with Personal Java, sorry J2ME, no wait.. sorry JavaME (or should I refer to it by technical standards CDC, CLDC, personal profile...), and Android at least for me appears to be the better and open of the two "standards" if you can call it that. No wonder Oracle wants to squash Google's platform. I still hate JavaME's signing certificate malarky preventing hobby developers getting their stuff out there.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Paris Hilton

      What does oracle stand to gain?

      Honestly, I may be very obtuse, but I cannot see what Oracle stands to gain in the big picture.

      Even if at worse, google perhaps cut and pasted some code or something similar (and I'd wager even there might be some spot where they might have), do the gains of the lawsuit outweigh the losses (tangible and intangible)?

      Now, I know that there is a saying that goes "There is no such thing as bad publicity" but surely that's going to make people think twice about java perhaps and oracle as a company perhaps.

      I don't know.

      There must be some angle Larry is working on....but what?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What does Oracle have to gain?

        Bringing Android into compliance with the Java API?

        $20/Android Handset?

        Sounds worth it to me if Google really did take GPL code and change the license to Apache. If Google really did steal Oracle IP. The question is, what clout will Google have when this black eye is done?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open source version

    Given that there are open source versions of at least some of the Java implementation, is it not possible that this code they are showing to be the same is in fact derived from the open source versions?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Another front?

      Google may turn that around and say the supposedly-open-sourced Java SDKs are in fact derived from closed, proprietary, and trade-secret Oracle code. Anyone ready to prove the clean-room status of their FOSS SDK? I smell a few more fronts opening in this war before long.

    2. Kevin Hutchinson

      Might depend whether it's the Mobile Version

      I agree - if Google can show that the copied code is derived from J2SE GPL - or Apache Harmony - then they've only got to fight the patents. But it's very likely they'll have to pay Oracle to license those patents, unless they can wield a big patent stick back at Oracle - unlikely.

      I'd suggest Google change their terms and conditions to state that any company suing Google Inc may not appear in Google's search results.

    3. Vic

      Re: Open source version

      > Given that there are open source versions

      The open-source version of Java is OpenJDK.

      There's also Apache Harmony, but since that hasn't been certified to be fuly compliant[1], it's not *technically* Java.

      > is it not possible that this code they are showing to be the

      > same is in fact derived from the open source versions?


      OpenJDK is GPL. If Android were derived from OpenJDK, it would also have to be GPL (and Google clearly didn't want to mandate the GPL on Android).

      It remains to be seen whether Oracle's latest claims have any legs. I really doubt they do, but I've not actually checked yet.


      [1] Because SnOracle refused to release the TCK under a Free licence except in the OpenJDK context ...


        If Android were derived from OpenJDK, it would also have to be GPL...

        That's the argument, that it *was* derived from OpenJDK. If true, that would be bombshell. With copyright infringement, isn't it per instance of violation? Continuing the what-if, that would be a huge settlement.

        OTOH, the class was written from scratch, and *not* copy/paste/whatever from the GPL code, then it's fine if they happen to do the same thing the same way (?). IANAL -- but, for the sake of argument, I'll act like one ;)

        All Google has to show, so far as I'm aware, would be the svn/git/etc logs showing how this class evolved. Presumably it's not just this one class? Kinda absurd to violate the GPL over one class file.

        In this scenario, Microsoft and Apple would be primary beneficiary, as Google's existence benefits Oracle. It's turning into a regular soap opera :)

        1. Vic

          Don't think that's a problem.

          > That's the argument, that it *was* derived from OpenJDK. If true, that would be bombshell.

          It's not the argument I was making, but it wouldn't be a bombshell.

          The class in question has been released under the ClassPath exception. That's really permissive...


    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think that would still be a problem

      As Java is under GPL 2 and Android is under Apache. I don't think they are compatible licenses.

      Just because something is open source doesn't mean you can do what ever the hell you want with it, there are still rules that vary according to the license in use, and that usually includes requiring that derivatives use the same license.

      1. Vic

        I don't..

        > As Java is under GPL 2 and Android is under Apache. I don't

        > think they are compatible licenses.

        Enjoy :-)


  6. micheal
    Gates Horns

    Ah yes, code monkey has it right

    We'll see another run of "jump on the money" bandwagon types investing in Oracle and watch the lawyers drain it's blood, that'll teach them to put a has been CEO in charge of a floundering company just because he's known on the block. Google, Like M$, is a modern IBM, large plodding giant swatting the "wannabe" flies pestering it...none of who'm have a moneymaking idea and are trying to get rich before they are consigned to histories dustbin, like many before them. I hate M$, I try not to use google, but sometimes you need a behemoth to start the minnows finding alternate ways to do it, some of which will be similar in code, due to the way it has to be done.

  7. Arkasha

    This is better than...

    ... an episode of Dallas. I'm waiting for the "Who shot Ellison?" episode and when Hurd wakes up in the shower and finds out he's still working for HP and the last few months has all been a dream.

  8. Kevin Hutchinson

    Google's "Black Box" patent

    Google doesn't have much patent-punch-power to throw back at Oracle - all I can find is Google's "Black Box" patent here:

    1. Paul Shirley

      this could end software patents

      Believe it or not, that could be a good thing. It leaves G with little option but to attack the patents and the patent system that allowed them. So far no-one big enough to seriously challenge the US patent office has had a compelling incentive to do it, hopefully that just changed.

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    Say what?

    Why does this remind me so much of SCO's land grab. There are only so many ways of writing the same code, especially when the API is the same, and the documentation is part of the API. It's hardly surprising if separate implementations converge on a similar solution especially if the documented API requires specific behaviour. As for documentation, I expect Apache Harmony read the Sun APIs, paraphrased the documentation and inferred the implementation in a similar fashion. Big deal. I wonder how much of that same text and code is in the OpenJDK and therefore this whole line of argument is tenuous at best.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      You must not be a software engineer...


      Yes you are correct. Given an AP, there are only a finite ways in which the underlying code can be written and written efficiently.

      However, if the code was written by two different developers, there will be noticeable differences in coding styles, naming conventions and comments.

      Since Oracle is claiming that the code was pilfered and not developed in a clean room, and the fact that the original code is open source and available... Occam's Razor would dictate that there is merit to Oracle's claim.

      And yes, I am a software engineer...

      Note: This isn't an anti-google position, but I have noticed a lot of code being developed where GPL code had been pilfered. Developers are cutting corners knowing that it would take a lawsuit to get found out.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Right now it seems as if Ellison is angry at the whole world"

    Male menopause ?

    Jealous that Steve Job's company is growing the fastest (on many measures) ?

    At least he's not a bully, he's fighting the 100lb gorilla....

    1. jcipale
      Black Helicopters

      ellison is angry over a pimple on his balls

      One of the most obnoxious individuals in the high-tech world. He makes Bill Gates seem saintly.

  11. Nathan 6

    Bad Business Discission on Part of Google not to license J2ME

    I said it before, Google should just license J2ME and build their API on top of that, like Blackberry does with their devices. To the end user and developers, there would be no real difference. Consumers might even benifit since they could run any J2ME software without first transforming it.

    Now, they going to have to pay a boat load of money to Oracle, and the greater the success of Andriod the more they pay.

    Some of you may say, well why not just do a clean room implementation. Doesn't matter, you still have to pay for all infringing devices sold. Much cheaper to just reach a licensing deal before Oracle decide to start going after the manufactures (they have every right) for money also.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the memories

    If they can prove Android has proper memory management, then it is obviously not derived from Sun/Oracle Java - case closed.

  13. Kebabbert

    Google copied code:

    Here is the code excerpt where Google copied code. (Google got the code from Apache);feature-roto

    Regarding SAP vs Oracle: SAP has admitted they did wrong. Oracle has won a major victory in this case.

    SAP vs Oracle: Oracle is the victim. SAP admitted it

    Google vs Oracle: Oracle is the victim. Look at the code.

  14. Carl Pearson

    Steal This Comment

    How do you steal something that's free?

    Java is an OS project. Android is an OS project. Source code to both is readily available.

    Hard to believe Snoracle could be as stupid as SCO.

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