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In August 2010, Oracle sued Google, alleging that Google’s Android infringed on several Java-related patents. Google has now responded and denied all seven of Oracle’s patent infringement claims. Further, Google has asked the court to dismiss Oracle’s suit altogether. While this sort of response is somewhat expected in a patent infringement suit, it seems that Google has gone a bit far by accusing Oracle of being a hypocrite. Before Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, it pushed for an open Java platform because at the time, the only way to demonstrate compatibility with Java was through Sun’s Technology Compatibility Kit. However, as soon as Oracle acquired Sun, it changed its position and ignored requests for an open Java platform. Google explained all of this in the answer it filed.
Google has likely set itself up for some problems with all of the additional facts it gave in its answer. In the Android, Google uses a subset of Apache Harmony Implementation, and Apache does not have a license to test Harmony with Oracle/Sun’s Java Compatibility Kit. The answer Google filed in this lawsuit shows that it clearly knew Apache does not have a license. Google used parts of Harmony in the Android without the proper licensing, which means that it does not have the necessary intellectual property rights to the Java platform it is using. This will not only be a problem for Google in its lawsuit with Oracle, but it will likely turn out to be a problem for its Android users all over the country. Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is one of discretion, and not saving discovery requests by talking too much in your answer.
– Sophia Behnia
Tagged with: Android • answer • Apache Harmony Implementation • career • complaint • contracts • courts • creative content • discovery • entertainment • financial • Google • infringement • intellectual property • Java • lawsuits • legislation • license • media • Oracle • patents • progress • Sun Microsystems • technology
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