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Schmidt Testifies Android Did Not Use Sun's IP 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the everything's-ship-shape-your-honor dept.
CWmike writes "Google built a 'clean room' version of Java and did not use Sun's intellectual property, Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, testified in court Tuesday. Schmidt said its use of Java in Android was 'legally correct.' On this day seven of the trial, Schmidt gave the jury a brief history of Java, describing its release as 'an almost religious moment.' He told the jury that Google had once hoped to partner with Sun to develop Android using Java, but that negotiations broke off because Google wanted Android to be open source, and Sun was unwilling to give up that much control over Java. Instead, Schmidt said, Google created the 'clean room' version of Java that didn't use Sun's protected code. Its engineers invented 'a completely different approach' to the way Java worked internally, Schmidt testified."
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Schmidt Testifies Android Did Not Use Sun's IP

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  • Re:FP! (Score:2, Informative)

    by crutchy (1949900) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:33PM (#39790749)
    nope. his nick isn't brick top
  • by GryMor (88799) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:46AM (#39791707)

    Everything Google 'copied' (really, re-implemented) was released under the Apache license as project Harmony.

  • by zbobet2012 (1025836) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:52AM (#39791745)
    Google wanted the [i]actual virtual machine[/i] to be open source. Java the [i]language[/i] was open sourced. This trial resides around whether or not that open source license extended to the api's of the language.
  • Re:fragmentation? (Score:5, Informative)

    by julesh (229690) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:53AM (#39791747)

    Google were going to use a completely different API anyway (the android application framework, rather than J2ME which Sunacle would have preferred). By "worried about fragmentation" what they really mean is "worried that people won't pay to license the patented parts of Java".

  • by julesh (229690) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:59AM (#39791785)

    We're talking about an intermediate representation. Both Google and Oracle's virtual machines take their respective bytecode formats and convert them to a register-based machine language prior to execution. The only difference is that Google does this by translating from a different register-based language while Oracle translates from a stack-based language. This isn't about calling conventions, but compiler technology.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @02:13AM (#39791843) Journal

    It is even higher if the lines were contributed to Java by a programmer who then contributed to Android.

    That wouldn't be a clean-room implementation then, would it.

  • by julesh (229690) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @02:38AM (#39791957)

    In 2006, only javac, the java compiler, was open source. Android doesn't even use this compiler, so this was irrelevant to them. It took until 2007 for a GPL release of the class library, and Android was basically finished by this point in time. The first android phone launched only weeks after Java's GPL release. The decision to pursue an open source Java implementation was taken in 2005, shortly after Google acquired Android, and long before Sun began open-sourcing anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @03:51AM (#39792197)

    You are mixing things.

    OpenJDK is the GPLv2 licensed reference implementation for Java SE. This is important because it includes crap like Swing and AWT that have no place on a modern mobile phone or tablet, amongst countless of other fat that's not needing. The virtual machine itself is way to heavy, doing optimizations that can be afforded on a desktop, but that are too expensive on a mobile phone.

    But Java ME (mobile edition) is an entirely different matter. It does not have an open-source implementation, so you have to license it from Sun/Oracle. And if you do that, you cannot modify it to suit your needs, unless Sun/Oracle agrees, which is very unlikely because historically they've been quite religios about their TCK.

    So the thing left to do, if you want to use "open-source Java" is to fork OpenJDK. But the problem here is that the patents grant in GPLv2 is implicit and this means for derivate works it does not hold in Europe (for example) as the "implicit patents grant" is an artifact strictly related to the US patents office only.

    Apache begged Sun for years to license them the TCK for Apache Harmony (the most complete third-party open-source implementation), but the license of the TCK says that distribution of the implementation for mobile devices is subject to licensing, a clause which is incompatible with Harmony's APL license, therefore Sun disagreed ... but at least people assumed that a clean-room implementation is fine, even if it does not pass the TCK, as long as you don't use the Java trademark. And now Oracle wants to prove otherwise.

    So no, for mobile devices Java is closed, unless you go with a clean-room implementation, which Google did.

    Dalvik is a virtual machine optimized for mobile phones. The latest version is pretty good too. Android has its flaws, but it's overall pretty good and this is in part because Google went the extra mile with their own VM implementation, which wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

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