Android Java code likely to damage Google’s defense against Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit

Verizon iPhone 4“A dispute erupting over the legitimacy of claims may have been settled on Friday with a study,” Electronista reports.

“Following assertions that the files were just for testing and in some cases had already been deleted, Engadget’s Nilay Patel argued that the technical issues were irrelevant and the files’ very existence could make Google liable,” Electronista reports. “Even if removed from the current code tree, inserted automatically or absent from current phones, the attempts to change the licenses may have violated Oracle’s copyrights. ‘Somewhere along the line, Google took Oracle’s code, replaced the GPL [licensing] language with the incompatible Apache Open Source License, and distributed the code under that license publicly,’ Patel said. ‘That’s all it takes — if Google violated the GPL by changing the license, it also infringed Oracle’s underlying copyright.'”

Electronista reports, “Even outside of the contested code, Oracle has already pointed to more direct examples that it contended were direct copies of the Java technology it owns.”

More info and links in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How about Google goes back to developing their own intellectual property, focusing on the things they’re good at, and stops following Apple around like a little lost puppy dog? While we’ll never be able to respect Google the way we once did, such changes would be a very welcome. A Microsoft by any other name would smell as sour.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “sparkplug” for the heads up.]


  1. Google should take the high road and admit to its wrong doing in court then, perhaps, I will respect Google a bit more. In the meantime, I am going to use Apple’s MobileMe more often and moving away from Google.

    I suspect Google is just a front for Russia’s SVR to steal all your information…

  2. I’m guessing Oracle is not much interested in getting licensing money from Google. I’m guessing Larry would rather see Android get ravaged. He doesn’t like all the Google evil behavior, and he loves his brilliant pal Steve.

  3. @ET In “Dark Knight 2” Lex Luthor ruled because he had a database. It was one he kept on nearly every human being there is. The one that let him blackmail, terrorize, bribe or murder everybody who opposed his little hostile takeover of the planet. That’s a comic book, but not too much of a stretch as a possible future scenario.

  4. The thing I hate about Android is that it’s giving away for free to any device manufacturer. It’s very design is to make a beautiful new category of devices as plain vanilla commodity crap. I really appreciate the uniqueness and style which Apple always brings! Fragmentation sucks!!! 

  5. For those curious as to what’s going to happen if Android is found to be infringing, I think I know. Remember, the US legal system moves like molasses. By the time it becomes clear that the jig is up for Android, it will be a year or more before a final verdict. You will see manufacturers move away from Android (sadly, probably towards Microsoft’s OS) long before they’re forced to by lawsuits. By the time Android is finally stomped by the courts, no one will be using it anymore.


  6. It’s fascinating that Oracle is suing Google over Android, not Apple. Apple seems to be going after competing manufacturers who make Android-based phones, not Google.

  7. It will be interesting to see when/if the cell phone manufacturers sue Google for their current and future losses from designing/manufacturing/selling devices that use stolen code and illegally licensed software.

    Those losses could be huge given the time they have lost and the competitive lead Apple has gained as a result. Those losses could be, and probably are, in the tens of billions.

  8. Getting a free Android operating system for free is too good to be true. All iPhone imitators never realize there is a hidden cost for free things. Just like having free sex and getting a bundle of hurts in the bargain.

  9. Microsoft’s moto is embrace and then extend.

    Google’s moto is steal it, copy it, then relicense it to benefit Google’s interest.

    Google moving Creepy Schmit out of the CEO Chair shows that Google is starting to worry about it’s Candy Sweet Image and worry they should because when Oracle wins Google will kiss most of it’s Tech & Public creditability Good Bye over night.

  10. It appears that there is some substantial doubt about the accuracy of the original report from blogger Florian Mueller which in turn prompted the Engadget article.

    The following post on Slashdot provides details:

    It indicates that the files in question are not part of Android as shipped but are most likely remnants from the development and QA process. It should be noted that these files were deleted from the source tree weeks ago along with developer comments about why.

    Basically the original blog post was dubious and Engadget has just taken this questionable report and blown it out of proportion.

  11. hey guys common… be real… Google is like many other publicly traded corporation… it is in it for one thing… $.

    maybe they saw how powerful the App Store can be in association with the eventual iAd…

    If Oracle was smart they would require a fee for every Android shipped (not sold… no lump sum payments…) That is the very reason why FireWire didn’t become the standard that USB has become.

    Apple too will have to deal with patents related to mobile communications – they should have licensed it long before any thought of an iPhone came into play…

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