Monday, May 27, 2024

Oracle Sues Google Over Java in Android

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Does Google’s Android operating system infringe on Oracle’s Java patents and copyrights? That’s the claim being made by Oracle this week in a major lawsuit against Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) over its use of Java in the mobile operating system.

“In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement,” Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) spokesperson Karen Tillman said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Oracle, which is seeking a jury trial to address its complaints, declined to elaborate further.

The allegations stem at least in part from patents previously owned by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle now possesses through its $7.4 billion purchase of Sun. A full copyof Oracle’s complaint has been publicly posted online, which provides details of where Oracle sees the infringements in Android code.

“Android (including without limitation the Dalvik [virtual machine, included in Android] and the Android software development kit) and devices that operate Android infringe one or more claims of each of United States Patents Nos. 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38,104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520.14,” Oracle’s complaint states. “On information and belief, Google has been aware of Sun’s patent portfolio, including the patents at issue, since the middle of this decade, when Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers.”

More specifically, those patents include protections for “Controlling Access To A Resource” (Patent No. 6,192,476), “Method And Apparatus For Preprocessing And Packaging Class Files” (No. 5,966,702) and “System And Method For Dynamic Preloading Of Classes Through Memory Space Cloning Of A Master Runtime System Process” (No. 7,426,720), among others.

Google fired back at Oracle’s claims.

“We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit,” a Google spokesperson said in an e-mail to “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.”

“Filing Patent Suits Never in Sun’s Genetic Code”

Additionally, Oracle is claiming that Google has infringed on Oracle’s copyrights as well.

“Without consent, authorization, approval, or license, Google knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully copied, prepared, published, and distributed Oracle America’s copyrighted work, portions thereof, or derivative works and continues to do so,” Oracle’s complaint states. “Google’s Android infringes Oracle America’s copyrights in Java and Google is not licensed to do so.”

Java creator James Gosling said that he wasn’t surprised by Oracle’s lawsuit.

“During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer’s eyes sparkle,” Gosling said in a blog post. “Filing patent suits was never in Sun’s genetic code. Alas…”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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