Google Rebuts Oracle Lawsuit

Hours after Oracle filed suit against Google for patent infringement, Google has made it very clear that it will stand its ground…..

We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Googleand the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit,” Google said in a statement sent to Mashable.  “The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place. We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform.

The lawsuit focuses around the Java platform, which Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems earlier this year.  Oracle’s argument is rather straightforward: Google “directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property” by utilizing it in the Android operating system and the Android SDK.  In addition to patent issues, the suit also claims Java is “copyrightable” rather than strictly FOSS and accuses Google of copyright infringement for using Java’s code without any license.

Google’s response to the lawsuit doesn’t come as a surprise; any concession even insinuating that it did anything wrong could cost the company millions in either a judgment or a settlement.  It’s likely Google will argue that it’s not committing patent infringement because Java is an open-source software; Google mentioned open-source standards not once, but three times in its statement.  Sun released most of Java’s code as open-source software in 2006.

Why is this lawsuit only being filed now, three years after Android’s introduction?  It has a lot to do with the high cost of patent lawsuits; they take millions in research and legal fees, not to mention it takes a significant amount of a company’s time to pursue a patent lawsuit.  As CNet points out, Sun Microsystems didn’t have the financial capability to wage war against Google.  Oracle, with its greater financial strength and experience in patent lawsuits, can.  And while the suit could cost Oracle millions, the payout would be even greater if it can show that Google willfully infringed on Oracle’s Java-related patents.


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