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Google VS. Oracle Trial Begins. The Future Of Android Hangs In The Balance.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google VS Oracle Trial Begins. The Future of Android Hangs...
    (Click for full article)

    "One of the big legal battles in Android history is set to begin today, in the case of Oracle vs Google.

    While the fight has been going on for quite some time, with wins and losses on both sides, the final showdown will be decided by this trial, which could potentially have huge ramifications for Android and its continued existence.

    The ongoing case began back in August of 2010, when Oracle, makers of Java, sued Google for intellectual property infringement in their use of Java API's in Android.

    "In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement."
    - Oracle
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Oracle tells jury "you can't just step on somebody's intellectual property" (click for full article)

    " SAN FRANCISCO-Google's Android operating system might be free, but it makes plenty of money off the system-and some of that cash ought to be headed to Oracle. At least that's what the database company's lawyer told a jury today. "You can't just step on somebody's intellectual property because you have a good business reason for it," said Michael Jacobs, an Oracle lawyer.


    One of the biggest tech-industry legal disputes has moved to trial now in San Francisco, where a panel of 12 men and women was sworn in to hear eight weeks of testimony about whether Google violated copyright and patent laws when it created its Android operating system. Jacobs told jurors that Google was so eager to see Android take off, it was willing to charge ahead without getting a license from Sun-even though top Google execs knew it needed one. (Java was created by Sun Microsystems, which was purchased by Oracle a few years ago.)


    Google hasn't had a chance to respond yet; its lawyers are scheduled to give an opening statement tomorrow morning.


    This trial is the culmination of a case first filed almost two years ago. Over that time, it has morphed from a case mostly about patents to one that's mainly about copyright. That's in part because five of the seven patents Oracle originally asserted have been tossed out of the lawsuit. At one point, Oracle filed damage reports suggesting it would ask for up to $6 billion in damages; that's been whittled down greatly. The sides still have conflicting damage reports, but numbers presented to the jury are likely to be in the tens of millions, not the billions.


    Opening statement


    "This isn't the kind of property we're used to," Jacobs told the jury. "It's intellectual property, which fuels our economy, and is the backstop for the R&D that great companies engage in."


    After that brief explication, Jacobs wasted no time in showing jurors an e-mail from Google engineer Tim Lindholm to Andy Rubin, the head of Android. That message has been the subject of contentious litigation already, and Google lawyers tried, unsuccessfully, to keep it out of court. It reads in part:


    "What we've actually been asked to do (by Larry and Sergei) is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to java for android and chrome. we've been over a bunch of these, and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need."
    It was the first of many e-mails Oracle presented that show Google knew it needed a license for Android, but just blew it off. "This was not a mistake, this was not inadvertence," said Jacobs. "The decision to use Oracle intellectual property in Android was done at the highest levels of Google with consciousness and awareness of what's going on."


    (Google has argued that the Lindholm e-mail is simply a strategic discussion of what to do, which was only initiated after Oracle filed suit.)


    In the lawsuit, Oracle isn't claiming that a license is needed to use the Java programming language, but it does say a license is needed for anyone using a Java application programming interface, or API. Google, meanwhile, maintains that neither the Java programming language nor the Java APIs are even subject to copyright.


    Just because Google doesn't charge for Android doesn't mean it isn't big business, said Jacobs. It makes its money the same way Google does from Web search-via advertising.


    "So this is Google's pitch: we don't make money off of Android. We give it away for free to the world, and they put it on their cell phones and tablets," said Jacobs. "But this is business. And in fact, Android is hugely profitable for Google."


    Google wanted to base its system on Java because it knew it needed an active developer community to design the apps that would make Android take off. Google believed that leveraging Java-with its community of six million developers worldwide-was the way to go.


    At one point, Jacobs acknowledged that there's precious little evidence of actual copying in the case. The allegation is that it's the design of Java APIs that Google emulated. Still, he did show a few lines of code to the jury that Google is alleged to have copied "line for line" from Java code. "It's not a lot, but copying is copying," said Jacobs. Building Android "was not done in a clean room. It was not done without looking at Sun's stuff."
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Oracle vs. Google Copyright Case: Jury Deadlocks, Google Moves for Mistrial (click for full article)

    " After spending the weekend poring over the evidence, the jury in the Oracle vs. Google copyright infringement case is still deadlocked on one of four key questions in the case - the question of whether the 37 Java APIs Google used in its Android operating system fell under the doctrine of fair use.


    The judge in the case, Judge William Alsup, had suggested the jurors take the weekend to think about it after being unable to reach a unanimous decision on Friday, but by today, the jury remained split.


    In the meantime, the jury did decide Google used Java APIs developed by Oracle when it was building Android - in other words, the call was that Google had infringed on Oracle's code (and Google has already acknowledged lifting nine lines of code from Oracle's software), but the jury couldn't agree on whether Google or anyone else had the legal right to lift that code.


    This means Google could be accountable for damages, rather than needing to cough up a share of its profits to Oracle. A Wall Street Journal reporter estimated a fine of less than $100,000, in contrast to Oracle's previous claim that Google owed the company $1 billion or so.


    Google moved for a mistrial today after the jury announced its failure to reach a unanimous agreement on the fair use question. The case will now progress to addressing Oracle's claims of Google's patent infringement, separate from its copyright claims. "
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    In Google-Oracle case, jury’s findings may not be last word on infringement - The Washington Post (click for full article)

    "On Monday, Oracle won a partial victory in its case against Google. The Post's Hayley Tsukayama reports :


    A federal jury in San Francisco ruled Monday that Google infringed on copyrights held by Oracle.


    U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ordered Google and Oracle to prepare arguments on that issue.


    The jury had found that the programming interfaces in Android were very similar to those in Java in nine lines of code.


    The jury was deadlocked, however, on whether Google's use of the Java APIs fell under the umbrella of "fair use." The case, which has been watched closely by the software industry, dealt with the question of whether Google was allowed to use the open Java programming language to build its Android platform without a licensing agreement.


    In a statement after the verdict, Google said: "We appreciate the jury's efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that's for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle's other claims."


    Oracle said that it was pleased with the decision. "The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license and that its unauthorized fork of Java in Android shattered Java's central write-once-run-anywhere principle. Every major commercial enterprise - except Google - has a license for Java and maintains compatibility to run across all computing platforms," said Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger in a statement.


    However, after the verdict was given, Google planned to seek a mistrial, The Associates Press reports :


    ... Google will still try to set aside the jury's verdict of infringement on the broadest copyright claim. Google's lawyers intend to seek a mistrial on that issue, arguing that the verdict has no legal standing without an answer on the question of fair use.


    Google is still hoping Alsup will rule that the Java technology in question for that part of the verdict can't be copyrighted anyway. Alsup has said he intends to decide that question. If he finds that copyrights do not apply, then there's nothing for Google to infringe.


    That part of the case revolves around 37 of Java's "application programming interfaces," or APIs, that provide the blueprints for making much of the software work effectively. Other major companies, including IBM Corp, have licensed some of Java's APIs, but Google never did.


    Sun Microsystems, which Oracle bought along with Sun's Java technology two years ago, had made most of Java freely available to computer programmers. Sun also sold licenses to companies that made significant alterations, known as forks, as Google did.


    Oracle contended Google's changes violated a promise to maintain Java so it works on any technology platform - a concept known as "write once, run anywhere."
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google is cleared of Java patent infringement in Android - The Inquirer (click for full article)

    "ENTERPRISE VENDOR Oracle has lost its alleged Java patent infringement case against Google after the jury returned a unanimous verdict that Oracle had failed to prove patent infringement in Android by Google.


    Oracle's lawsuit against Google started falling apart just weeks after it was filed, with lengthy and often comical pre-trial proceedings leaving little of Oracle's case standing. Nevertheless Oracle continued to throw money at the case, however now the jury has returned a verdict that clears Google of infringing Java patents in its Android operating system.


    Judge William Alsup has yet to rule on whether the Java language APIs are protected by copyright, but US legal precedents suggest that he will rule that they are not copyrightable.


    According to Groklaw's reports, the jury was hung in the first phase of the trial, split nine to three in favour of Google on copyright fair use, and only the jury foreman held out for Oracle for a while in the Java patent infringement phase. The two firms' legal teams have decided not to pursue the third phase of the trial to argue about damages.


    Google issued a statement in which it said, "Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem."
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

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