[LINK] Oracle suing Google

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sat Aug 14 08:11:31 AEST 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stuck between maintaining an unsettling 
status quo or causing a damaging but potentially lucrative ruckus, 
Oracle is going for the ruckus.

The enterprise software giant roiled Silicon Valley late Thursday 
evening by filing a lawsuit against Google over Java patent 
violations. Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) said Google's Android mobile 
operating system infringes on the intellectual property that Oracle 
acquired in its January purchase of Sun Microsystems. Google uses the 
Sun-developed Java software platform as part of its Android platform, 
which Oracle says violates seven of the patents it now owns.

Here's where it gets really confusing: Both Java and Android are 
open-source platforms. Neither Google nor Oracle make any money from 
their open-source software creations. Their source code is available 
for free, and any developer can essentially do they want with it.

That's exactly what Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) did. Rather than 
license the more sophisticated version of Java from Sun and Oracle 
that's designed for smartphones, Google essentially created a 
workaround using the free Java version. Google developed its own Java 
virtual machine -- software that runs Java-based applications -- for 
the Android operating system now used on millions of smartphones.

There is plenty of precedent for what Google did. In fact, the 
personal computer market exploded that way. In the '80s and '90s, a 
slew of "IBM compatible" PCs were developed by companies that 
reverse-engineered hardware to make computers that were able to run 
programs from IBM, and eventually Microsoft.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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