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Oracle's Java Claims Now Down To $230 Million 84

jfruh writes "Hey, remember when Oracle decided to sue Google over claims that Android violated Oracle's Java patents and copyrights? How's that working out? Not so well, it seems! Oracle has been forced to take many of its patents out of the lawsuit due to lack of evidence, and the damages in play now are down to a little less than 4 percent of Oracle's original $6.1 billion claims."
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Oracle's Java Claims Now Down To $230 Million

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  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:00PM (#39111685)

    At least they aren't going the route of apple which last week, for example, patented an existing 3D eye tracking based icon display system of which there is a demo by someone else in youtube since 2009.

    Would the patent office bother to find out? I dont think so.
    Don't believe me, compare it yourself: []

    versus []

    If anyone has any connection to the US patent office they should be made aware.

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:13PM (#39111885) Homepage

    In legislations, where it is "loser pays", this first reference point is important for the later outcome. Google was sued for 6.1bn, valuing the lawsuit at 6.1bn. If Oracle manages to get the 230mil awarded, this means that there were 5.87bn, which they didn't get. That would mean that Oracle has to pay 96% of the whole costs for the lawsuit.

  • Re:who cares (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @03:27PM (#39114653) Homepage

    The difference is that MS claimed their implementation was java, which it's clearly not.
    Google only ever claimed their language was similar to java, which it is.

  • Re:who cares (Score:4, Informative)

    by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @10:56PM (#39120069)
    There is a lot that is different here. I think someone needs to enumerate them and I'm sure someone else has already done so. However, since I can find no enumeration actively, I'll do so here. I beg forgiveness to anyone who's already done this because they've most likely done a better job than myself.

    Microsoft v Sun - This wasn't a patent case. This was mostly a breach of contract case. Microsoft signed an agreement with Sun Microsystems at the time, to implement a version of the JVM for Microsoft Windows. This was actually par for the course in the start-up days of Java, to have a JVM, the OS maker had to write the JVM and only if they had a signed agreement could the OS maker do so. (It's one of the reasons Microsoft felt really compelled to start .NET)

    Back on track... Microsoft put some value added stuff in their JVM that basically made java byte code developed for MS-JVM incompatible with other JVMs. Namely, RNI and J/Direct to name a few. This was strictly not what Microsoft agreed to in the deal. It was found in court that Microsoft had made the MS-JVM specifically with the idea to hijack Java altogether as part of a wider embrace, extend, and extinguish that involved Netscape as well. Bytecode from another vendor would run on MS-JVM, but if the same source was compiled with Microsoft's javac (java compiler) then the bytecode would fail on every other JVM out there. This was especially true with the implementation of Java Sockets which explicitly loaded two different libraries. One for other bytecode and one for MS bytecode.

    Now the biggest problem, other than Microsoft had signed an agreement to not do this, was that Microsoft was calling this Java and cited that the agreement allowed them to slap a Java logo on their product. Sun took offense to that idea and additionally sued their butts for trademark infringement. That last part is what is important here. Trademark infringement.

    Let's switch over to Google...

    In this case we are now dealing with Oracle v Google. The case between the two isn't a single point of law that's being brought up, just like the Sun v Microsoft was contractual, trademark, and anti-trust. What Google did was create a new virtual machine, which is not illegal. However, their choice programming language borrows the Java programming language syntax, which while not illegal, does draw the platform as a whole and the virtual machine in question. Google doesn't brand their platform as being Java and they've signed no contract with Oracle or Sun before that, agreeing that they would stick to the Java spec.

    Oracle brings up the issue that Google's implementation pollutes the Java ecosystem, but there again, Google makes no claims to their VM being Java. That said, Oracle still takes issue that you have things like java.lang.String and so forth. Mind you that the Oracle java.lang.String and Google java.lang.String are two different beast. Which brings us to the underlying issue.

    Google's implementation of the Java Language Spec (JLS), at least the parts that they borrow, did not come from code that is under Oracle's protection. It came from the Apache Harmony project which is under a different license than the JLS. Thus one point to argue in court is, is it legal to make an implementation of a language, even part of it, that is neither a standard (ISO/ECMA) and not under an open license (remember this was what all the brew-ha-ha was with the Apache split from the JCP.) I can write my own C++ compiler because it is a standard (ISO) so long as I don't use any methods that others have patented. I can write my own Python compiler because it is under an open license, again so long as I obey the license and don't use any already patented methods. Java, however, is neither a standard or under an open license (an implementation is open sourced called OpenJDK but Java the language is still not under an open license.)

    Because of this, think of the API (the names of the functions

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas