Feeds

Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown

Ellison's Java suit against Choc Factory goes to trial

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.