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back to article Gemalto leaps into anti-Android fray

Security chip maker Gemalto has launched its own attack on Android, claiming to own patents essential to the use of Java as a mobile OS. The suit, filed in patent-friendly Texas, accuses Google, HTC, Motorola and Samsung of infringing Gemalto's patents which, according to the company, cover techniques essential to the use of a …

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Stop

What about J2ME/MIDP?

Funny that they chose not to sue over the various manufacturer implementations of J2ME or MIDP back in the 2000's. Or were they all actually "licenced"? Or was it that they weren't juicy-enough targets at the time...?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about J2ME/MIDP?

@Nosher - JavaCard has functionality not available in J2ME. A more realistic candidate would be the .NET micro framework. Although I doubt that will become a target because it's so different. The micro framework smart card implementation relies the Microsoft Smart Card Base CSP or Crypto Next Generation (CNG) key storage provider. Architecturally that's to JavaCard what a pen is to a pencil (JavaCard relies on PKCS-11).

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Alert

Is this the same Gemalto as

NHS smartcards use something called Gemalto to read smartcards. Is our health servive funding a patent troll?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Is this the same Gemalto as

Gemalto isn't a patent troll - the company makes a significant proportion of the SIMs and credit cards in the world today (look very closely in the top right hand corner on the back of your credit cards, you're probably carrying at least on that's branded Gemalto).

They also make the readers and associated kit, 'cos it all has to be securely manufactured and distributed.

Not that this makes their patent any more (or less) valid, but the company (or, more accurately, the companies that joined up to make Gemalto) spent a lot of money making JavaCard work.

Bill.

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Pirate

"..device with limited resources."

Which Android devices are these then? All Android devices are beefier than top of the range super computers were when JavaCard were doing their bit. And they need to be!

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Flame

Corporate Welfare

So, some company wants instruments of the state (patents) to be applied to a successful company so that they can make money too? Looking at what Java Card is supposed to be, it looks like a cut-down version of Java that runs on what we used to call microcomputers a couple of decades ago. Strangely enough, high-level languages used to run on those microcomputers as well. Things like Lisp, complete with garbage collection - a major feature of many high-level languages - were available not only in the 1980s, but even further back on comparable (but obviously more expensive) hardware.

Once again, patents prove to be the instrument of choice for companies wanting their own specially tailored government bail-out over and over again.

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Anonymous Coward

title?

Yes, they were licensed. That's the whole point.

JavaCard is developed to the Java Card specs put out by Sun.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javacard/overview/licensees-137720.html

Only Google thinks it owns a divine right to do what it pleases

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Anonymous Coward

So if she weighs the same as a duck.....

She's made of wood?

The logic here is pythonesque.

The smart-phone is not really a phone, it is a general use micro computer with telephone hardware welded to it's innards. The cell phone hardware could be put on a PCMCIA card and run from a laptop, a palmtop, or a netbook. The physical size of the computer matters not, yet Gemalto seems to be of the opinion that they are the only ones allowed to run Java in this device-space.

Would they agree that XP & Linux both are capable of running on a machine with a 1GHz processor, a 16 GB HD and 512MB or RAM? Would they then not also agree that Java runs on either XP or Linux?

What they have is a way to run Java on devices that otherwise could not. I don't think that this applies here. Get out of the way, there's people here who have real work to do.

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Linux

Who cares

The up comming Adam tablet is reported to be able to run Ubuntu on it rather than Android for those who wish it. Give it another few years and Android will be replaced by a mobile Linux version.

Given that my desktop with all its apps takes up 4 gig, Ubuntu can already be shoved on mobiles. (in terms of pure storage space) all it will take is an adaptation of the desktop interface (perhaps a smaller netbook remix ... the 10.04 version with the nice big buttons) and an adaptation of the Ubuntu One store and that's it. Game over for Android and who needs java? Plus Ubuntu One will likely be synching prety much everything by that point; it already does bookmarks as well as purchased music.

Honestly, I believe in five years, the common smartphone will be running Linux and all this litigation will be forgotten. Well, maybe not by Google.

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Title

Wouldn't Google have been better off making Android from the beginning into a proper Linux OS? Based on all the good (and truly free) stuff that is around - all those userland tools, maybe a customised or shrunken down version of XOrg? This way we would have had a truly free OS - and there wouldn't have been any need for these silly law suits. All they had to do was keep proprietary some of the GSM or 3G bits if they wanted to stop people from messing where they shouldn't.

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Linux

XOrg

NOOOOOoooooooOoo!!

Not by default.

But as an option, I totally agree.

We should have the option of fully tweaking any install of android on all devices made by any company without resorting to rooting.

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Anonymous Coward

One positive thing...

At least Gemalto actually *makes* something, as opposed to so many recent cases where a patent holder is suing based on some obscure idea they have obviously never attempted to develop.

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Meh.

I'm betting this suit, along with others, will get thrown out of court as frivolous.

The lawyers always emerge when something turns out to be hugely successful.

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FAIL

Apps on SIM cards

Maybe you could do your research.... See that SIM in your phone? Well it's Javacard. How many apps does it have on it? 1, 2... 30, 50 ?

and as to the bollox comments comparing it to midp, it's more like an event-driven state machine. Some SIMs _may_ support PKCS#11, but that's something else.

-Mook

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fch
WTF?

"device with limited resources"

... hardly applies to Android-based phones. What these have, 500MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, 4GB+ storage, 10Mbps+ (wireless / 3G) networking would have made them decent workstation-class machines at the time the JavaCard was made. And all of those are a low-end Android specs.

I've often been wondering where and what exactly it is that makes law graduates eventually loose their common sense. If only I could patent that as a business process, just imagine, sue the whole guild for royalties ...

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Grenade

Mobile Linux?

"Give it another few years and Android will be replaced by a mobile Linux version"

@Michelle Knight, yeah just like Linux has replaced all other desktop operating systems. As predicted every year, year after year. Only it hasn't.

I haven't got a problem with Linux it's just my time is too valuable these days to spend it at a command prompt trying to install anything ... a mobile version of Linux would just be irritating.

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Linux

Command prompt to install you say...

...it's been a long time between drinks hasn't it Matt? Of course you can do it that way if you want but most users either run Synaptic or Software Management if using a Ubuntu version, online clicking of a link if using SuSE or Redhat's Package Manager if using a Redhat common version. These are the primaries that do it & do it well; updates, installs, uninstalls, fixes & includes all Libraries too.

Happens that software management within Linux seems a long way better than Microsoft's method...

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