In what might be very bad news for Java developers working on Android, Oracle has sued Google, alleging that it has infringed on intellectual property related to the Java software that Oracle acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems. A Google vs Oracle battle is certain to lead to innocent Java blood being spilt.
The news seems to have drawn reactions ranging from upset to ‘very angry’ from members of the Java community, partly cause the Java community has had positive vibes for Google for a long time, while Oracle is still looked at with some suspicion.
“Google’s Android competes with Oracle’s Java as an operating system software platform for cellular telephones and other mobile devices,” Oracle said in its complaint.
“In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property,” Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman said in a statement.
Claiming that Android competes with Java as “an operating system software platform for cellular telephones and other mobile devices” and that the Android stack employs Java apps running on a Java-based framework, Oracle says that Android and the Android SDK infringe on its patents, and it wants to see some cash for its unwitting involvement in the mobile OS’s success.
In addition to patent violations, Oracle is also claiming copyright infringement; Java’s code is copyrighted, and Oracle believes Google has used it without any kind of license.
src – mashable
Anyway, few people trusted the open source credentials of Java & Oracle and this will further harm the ‘open’ image of both. It could also lead to Google as well as others moving away from Java to more open & “unlikely to be sued” alternatives.
Also the lawsuits can only be bad news for the Java community & innovation in the space. I suppose this news will lead to a fresh surge of interest in free & open source and bolster the No Software Patents movement as people will again question the whole idea of software patents and the inordinate waste of time, money & effort in creating & servicing them.
Oracle, Google & IBM are the primary players in the Java space but unfortunately all three seem incapable of working together for the development of Java. The only thing that might work in favour of Java is that all three are deeply invested into the Java platform, so are unlikely to simply turn their back and look elsewhere.
The only positive I see is that this development could lead to continued action and innovation in the Mobile space and I suppose some engaging debates at the IndicThreads Mobile Software Development Conference. But then again this is also perhaps a cause for concern for our half a decade old IndicThreads Conference On Java.