The Apache Software Foundation has been subpoenaed in the Oracle lawsuit versus Google over the use of Java in the Android operating system.
Oracle's attorneys at the firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP issued the subpoena to ASF requiring the production of documents related to the use of Apache Harmony code in the Android software platform, and the unsuccessful attempt by Apache to secure an acceptable license to the Java SE Technology Compatibility Kit, ASF officials said.
The subpoena, received from Oracle America's attorneys on May 2, gives Apache until May 13 to produce the required materials.
In a statement, ASF said: "Apache will, of course, be complying with the court requirement by submitting all the relevant documents. As an open development group we envisage the majority of the documents are already publicly available."
Florian Mueller, an intellectual property activist and founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, told eWEEK: "The Apache Foundation will be able to shed some light on the extent to which the allegedly infringing parts of Dalvik were developed by Google itself. This is relevant to the patent infringement allegations as well as some of the copyright issues. In some source files there was a notice that suggested that the Apache Foundation relicensed GPL-licensed code under the Apache Software License but Apache disowned at least one of those files categorically. It's time for the truth to come out."
Perhaps the most interesting part of the subpoena is Oracle's request for information regarding ASF's unsuccessful attempts to attain a TCK (Technology Compatibility Kit) from Sun Microsystems and then Oracle - after Oracle acquired Sun.
"Oracle's lawyers probably want to show to the court that Apache has always been aware of the fact that it actually needed a license from Oracle/Sun for its Harmony project," Mueller said. "This can be an indication that there is indeed an infringement, which Google still denies, and in connection with further evidence concerning which information Google had at which point in time, this could also play a role in determining whether Google's alleged infringement was willful or not."