WaTunes: Oracle Sues Google Over Android
In a statement released today, an Oracle rep stated, “In developing Android (), Google () knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement.”
Last year, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and, along with it, Java. In its formal complaint, Oracle calls the Java platform “one of the most important technologies Oracle acquired with Sun.” And no one can argue that the platform isn’t ubiquitous and very important in the technology industries.
Claiming that Android competes with Java as “an operating system software platform for cellular telephones and other mobile devices” and that the Android stack employs Java apps running on a Java-based framework, Oracle says that Android and the Android SDK infringe on its patents, and it wants to see some cash for its unwitting involvement in the mobile OS’s success.
Oracle also says Google has known about these patents since the middle of the decade when the latter company hired several Sun Java engineers.
In addition to patent violations, Oracle is also claiming copyright infringement; Java’s code is copyrighted, and Oracle believes Google has used it without any kind of license.
And remember that Android is open-source software and that a lot of manufacturers and developers are involved in making the Android platform what it is. The kicker in this lawsuit is Oracle’s assertion that Google has “induced, caused and materially contributed to the infringing acts of others by encouraging… others to use, copy and distribute” what could be called derivative works.
In addition to requesting monetary compensation, Oracle is also asking that all copies of Java-related work be “impounded and destroyed or otherwise reasonably disposed of.” Does this mean Oracle wants to bring a complete end to Android as it stands if, in fact, the OS uses Java code?
Only time (and a bunch of lawyers, a jury and a judge) will tell what becomes of this lawsuit.
Interested parties can check out the documents Oracle filed, which have been posted on VentureBeat.
What’s your opinion: Guilty or not guilty? Let us know your thoughts in the comment
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