The Oracle-Google Mess
By: Lewis A. Mettler on: Sun 15 of Aug, 2010 [18:11 UTC]
The Oracle-Google Mess(Groklaw)
Ah, a mess it is.
Reading the Oracle complaint discloses that the Oracle suit against Google is based upon 6 patents and copyright law. The potential copyright violations appear initially to be the weakest. But, we have yet to hear from Google.
Yes, Oracle bought SUN. But, any defense that Google could have used against SUN is likewise usable against Oracle.
Oracle can change the old SUN policies. But, Google can use a number of possible defenses against Oracle based upon SUN conduct. So we really have to wait and see before jumping in on the details of the patents themselves.
While it may be true that JAVA does depend upon each of those patents (I make a simple assumption here), it is not true that only a JAVA implementation might do so. It would appear that one or more of those patents could be used against almost any compiler or development system JAVA-like or not. I think that is important to keep in mind.
This is a simple patent enforcement litigation. Albeit software patents. And maybe it will be a good test case to invalidate software patents altogether. Or, substantially change their validity.
But, you have to keep in mind that litigation is always about the money. And that means that a settlement is always on tap.
When I say litigation is always about the money that is true for litigation between companies. If the DOJ or a non profit is involved it might be about politics or sometimes about the principals. But, that is rarely the case between two companies. And most lawyers will argue any side to any case. Perhaps you did not notice but even Microsoft lawyers argued for antitrust enforcement against Google. Go figure. But, lawyers rarely see only one side of the issue. Rather they are hired guns in the true sense of the word.
So we will see. There are reasons that Oracle and Google could settle their differences. No doubt Google has a few patents too. And no doubt that Oracle has an incentive to enter into a cross licensing agreement with Google.