As you know, Oracle sued
Google in connection with the use of Java without a license in the Android operating system. Naturally, Google denies the charges
and says it did not violate someone else’s intellectual property. All this is quite normal and is part of the usual legal battles. But the abnormal thing is that part of the Oracle claim, which, as they say, is printed in small print. The requirements of Oracle and its real actions, if you look, should seriously scare not only Google, but the entire Open Source community.
Oracle requires you to destroy all copies of Android (including devices sold with this operating system), as well as to compensate for the triple damage and legal costs. Of course, this is a bluff. In fact, Google can buy off pretty cheaply, but this profitable step for Google will be very dangerous for the IT industry. That's the trap.
Martin Heller with Infoworld yesterday published an
analysis of Oracle claims and a forecast of the possible development of this legal process.
At first glance, the situation for Google looks pretty bleak.
For example, one of Oracle's lawyers in this case is David Boies. He is known for the recent case he won over the abolition of the ban on same-sex marriage in California, as well as the old antitrust process against Microsoft. He also was an adviser to the RIAA in a case against Napster and represented Vice President Al Gore at a hearing on contesting the results of the vote count in the 2004 presidential election in the United States. No one hires David Boyes unless he has very serious intentions.
Oracle's claims relate to the infringement of seven software patents.
* Computer System (2000) Protection Domains
* Controlling Access to a Resource (2000)
* Method and Apparatus for Preprocessing and Packaging Class Files (1999)
* System and Method for Dynamic Preloading of Classes through a Master Runtime System Process (2008)
* Method and Apparatus for Resolving Data References in Generate Code (2003)
* Interpreting Functions of Hyper Virtual and Native Machine Instruments (2005)
* Method and System for Performing Static Initialization (2000)
These are all software patents.
Unfortunately, despite the recent decision on the Bilski case
, the US Supreme Court did not dare to revoke software patents entirely, and the discussion on this issue is still ongoing, although the absurdity of software patents is patently obvious to many. And the Supreme Court, apparently, goes to this.
There are also copyright infringement charges. But I think that all of them will be rejected at the beginning of the trial if the Android team, as reported
, created the Dalvik VM virtual machine as a result of a pure Java VM reverse engineering and will be able to prove it.
Phoenix Technologies at one time managed to do this trick with the IBM PC BIOS, so it is quite possible that Google will be able to prove this in the case of Java.Oracle suicidal requirements
Oracle requires you to destroy all copies of Android (including devices sold with this operating system), as well as to compensate for the triple damage and legal costs. They also require a trial.
These are clearly exaggerated requirements. They could, as they say, ask for "more and pony." No court will give them all of the above, even according to the results of a trial in Northern California. What can we say, even in East Texas,
they would not have achieved this.
But if Oracle wins, some requirements can still be met. But in this case, an appeal will be filed by Google, and the court will probably postpone the execution of the requirements at the time of the appeal hearing.
If Google wins the appeal, then Oracle can then appeal to the Supreme Court. However, if it comes to such a level, then there is a high probability that the Supreme Court will decide to revoke all patents altogether. Only this threat alone is enough for Oracle not to bring the process to such a stage.How can Google agree
Google can reach a pre-trial agreement with Oracle quite cheaply. There are two options for this: payout in cash or cross-licensing.
However, such an agreement can severely damage the IT industry, even if it is beneficial for Google. If Google agrees to pay the money, then Oracle will line up a number of new victims who will already be defenseless as a result of this decision: HTC, Motorola, Samsung, other smartphone makers, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, other telecom operators, and even large companies. who use Android devices. This can be a real nightmare for the mobile industry.
It seems that it was much better for all ba to conclude a cross-licensing agreement. In this case, most likely, Google will protect all licensees and Android users from future claims from Oracle.
Some of my colleagues are urging to immediately fork
all open source projects of Sun in order to somehow protect them from future Oracle actions. But I doubt that they will be able to bring the matter to a stage where the projects will really be safe.Hit the sore spot
If I were radical as in 20 years, I would call for a global boycott of Oracle products, because this trial is similar to dropping a neutron bomb into the open source community.
Think about it: Oracle DBMS users can upgrade to IBM DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL users can migrate to Monty fork
or Postgres. Oracle Forms and Oracle Web Forms users can migrate to Alpha Five, and Oracle ERP customers can choose from solutions from SAP, Microsoft, or Sage.
Are you ready to vote with your wallet?