Feeds

Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown

Ellison's Java suit against Choc Factory goes to trial

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

One of the big patent cases in tech will finally come to trial this week, as Oracle takes on Google in court over its use of Java software in its Android operating system.

Oracle laid hands on the Java platform when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010 and it had filed suit against Google under the new Sun moniker of "Oracle America" by August that year.

According to Oracle, the Chocolate Factory has infringed on its copyright by copying Java software and documentation into its Android software and documentation, as well as infringing on two patents with Android and related mobile phones.

Google has called the suit an "attack on both Google and the open-source Java community" and said the arguments are "baseless".

The web giant has said in court documents that Oracle has no right to enforce the copyright and patents in question against it because the Java programming language is free and open for anyone to use.

But Oracle doesn't agree and it is hoping the court will hand over around $1bn in damages at the end of the trial, expected to last around eight weeks.

Since the suit was first filed, Judge William Alsup has been trying to get the parties to settle and various negotiations have taken place. However, the parties were unable to agree on any deal before the set deadline of 13 April, so trial will begin today.

Both Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page are on Oracle America's list of the first 10 witnesses it expects to call to the stand. Judge Alsup said that it was possible the case could get to the first witness on the first day of trial after opening statements.

As well as costing Google a whole heap of money, losing the case could force the firm to change its Android OS, which in turn will force app developers to rewrite existing products.

While Google could survive a billion-dollar payout and an Android redesign, the developers are the ones who stand to lose most, which has put open-source advocates firmly on Google's side.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) called the Oracle suit "unjustifiable".

"One of the great benefits of free software is that it allows programs to be combined in ways that none of the original developers would've anticipated, to create something new and exciting," said FSF licence compliance engineer Brett Smith after the suit was first filed.

"Oracle is signalling to the world that they intend to limit everyone's ability to do this with Java," he added. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.