While the Oracle lawsuit against Google over Java may have come as a surprise to some, it was not unexpected by others, including Java creator James Gosling.
In what some characterize as a
battle in the making ever since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, Oracle has
leveled a lawsuit against Google for patent and copyright infringement over the
use of Java in the Android mobile device platform.
Indeed, Sun had its issues with
Android, but did not file suit. Java's new master, Oracle, is a different
Oracle issued a press release on
its lawsuit late on Aug. 12 stating that Google had infringed on Oracle's
"In developing Android, Google
knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual
property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement,"
said Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman in a statement.
Google could not be reached for
In an Aug. 12 blog post on the
matter, Java creator James
"Oracle finally filed a patent
lawsuit against Google. Not a big surprise. During the integration meetings
between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation
between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle. Filing
patent suits was never in Sun's genetic code. Alas....
"I hope to avoid getting dragged
into the fray: they only picked one of my patents (RE38,104) to sue over. "
In its complaint
, filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, Oracle calls for a jury trial.
Oracle's complaint acknowledges that Java is one of the most important
technologies Oracle acquired from Sun.
Oracle also called for the court to
block further infringement by Google by several means including stopping Google
from distributing any more copies of Android or advertising about
Android, and to impose treble damages on Google for its "willful and
deliberate" infringement on Oracle's intellectual property.
"As a direct and proximate result
of Google's direct and indirect willful copyright infringement, Oracle America has suffered, and will continue to
suffer, monetary loss to its business, reputation, and goodwill," the Oracle
Moreover, "Without consent,
authorization, approval, or license, Google knowingly, willingly, and
unlawfully copied, prepared, published, and distributed Oracle America's copyrighted work, portions
thereof, or derivative works and continues to do so," the complaint said.
Oracle's complaint also said that
Android users, including device manufacturers, have to obtain and use
copyrightable portions of the Java platform to build and use Android devices.
However, as that use was not licensed by Sun, "Google has thus induced, caused,
and materially contributed to the infringing acts of others by encouraging,
inducing, allowing and assisting others to use, copy, and distribute Oracle America's copyrightable works, and works
A key issue in the case is the Dalvik virtual machine (VM)
ships with Android. Oracle claims that the Dalvik VM violates several Oracle
patents - seven, in fact. Indeed, Oracle claims Google has been aware of these
patents since the middle of this decade, "when Google hired certain former Sun
Java engineers," Oracle's complaint said.
According to Oracle, "Android
(including without limitation the Dalvik VM and the Android software
development kit) and devices that operate Android infringe one or more claims
of each of United States Patents Nos. 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702;
7,426,720; RE38,104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520."