Oracle Java Lawsuit Could Jolt Android Market: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-04-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEWS ANALYSIS: Google and Oracle are waging a bruising courtroom battle over the search company's use of Java in Android. Everyone should keep a close eye on the proceedings because a decision in Oracle's favor could at least end up costing Google well over $1 billion or even affect the prices and availability of Android mobile products.

Google and Oracle are currently in court battling over whether Google violated Oracle's copyrights (no, not patents) when it used Java application programming interfaces (APIs) as part of its Android app development processor. If Google wins the case, Android will get off free, and the company won't be forced to pay the massive $1 billion or more in damages Oracle is hoping to be awarded in the event it wins the case.

This trial has been a long time coming. Back in 2010, after acquiring Java along with its buyout of Sun Microsystems, Oracle sued Google over its use of the platform. Since then, the companies have tried on numerous occasions to strike a deal, but the amount Google has been willing to pay to make the case go away has not satisfied Oracle. Now, a court will decide which side should win out.

Although talk of Google and Oracle has been going on for quite some time, many consumers have ignored the developments, reasoning that it won't impact them. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Everyone should keep a close eye on Google's Oracle lawsuit and realize that it could have a major impact on Android phone makers and Android device users.

Read on to find out why you should keep a close eye on Google's Oracle lawsuit:

1. Big money could change hands

Chances are, either Google or Oracle will be doling out a significant amount of cash when this case is finally decided. As noted, Oracle would like to make as much as $1 billion in this case, while Google will likely walk away with attorneys' fees and, perhaps, some damages in the event it wins. Either way, expect big money to change hands, and depending on which way it goes, for the companies' stock prices to be affected.

2. It's Google chance to defend itself

Google has been getting hit from all angles in the mobile space as of late. Companies argue that the Android operating system violates a host of patents (or in Oracle's case, copyrights), and Google has so far not made it clear why it believes it's innocent. This case is the company's chance to do just that.

3. Android is under fire

Following that, it's not clear what an Oracle win might do to Android cases going on elsewhere around the world. Much of the legal system across the world is based in the subjective interpretation of highly sophisticated user agreements and contracts. If Google is found guilty in this case, it might negatively impact ongoing Android cases currently being battled in courts around the world. Each nation has its own copyright and patent laws and their own way of interpreting them.

4. It could impact future lawsuits

At this same time, there's no telling how this case might impact future lawsuits. Will Oracle find other areas in which it believes Google might be illegally using its software? Will Microsoft try to find other areas in which Android, and thus Google, is violating some of its own patents? A Google victory could stymie other legal efforts to curtail Google's immense market power. A Google loss could do quite the opposite.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...

 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rocket Fuel