back to article Oracle wins round in Java patent lawsuit against Google

A three-judge US Court of Appeals panel has denied Google's request to toss out another judge's decision to allow an incriminating email from being used as evidence in Oracle's Java-patent lawsuit against Mountain View. The email in question was sent by Google engineer and ex–Sun man Tim Lindholm shortly before Oracle …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not as damning as it's made out to be

    In context the Lindholm e-mail was from an Engineer to the Head of Google and only a draft at that. This was in 2010 way after Android had been developed and had enormous praise from Sun for the promotion of the Java Programming Language.

    It was when Oracle came knocking on the door after they bought Sun and demanded large amounts of money or face litigation.

    Under these circumstances when litigation is going to cost a lot of time and money and keep you away from your business priorities it would be prudent to do risk management and ask for options to avoid any sort of litigation. These would be some options that could be looked at. Notice there are no other e-mail conversation regarding this.

    This e-mail isn't coming from a lawyer who has looked at the litigation and claims thoroughly and decided they have no case to answer and therefore must license (a VM they don't actually use) - if it was then they probably wouldn't now be in court.

    The other e-mail actually makes sense to Google's case which is that they approached Sun and other's for a technology partnership but didn't go ahead and in the end used the Apache Libraries.

    However as this will be a jury case it is easy to see how these can be presented extremely negatively by BSF and that is the reason for the attempts to supress them. However Google didn't have much of a case on that one, really.

    This is one of the few attacks that would show willful infringement as there are no other documents that show it and willful infringement is what Oracle desperately need to make anything like a fraction of their damage claims stick (and also make an injunction on Android likely).

    The damages meanwhile have been thrown out of court twice for being fanciful and trying the judge's patience. In his words "...Instead, I get a report that calls for 6 billion, not million, billion dollars. You are never going to do it again...."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Should have read...

      "Head of Google" -> "Head of Android at Google" i.e. Andy Rubin

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    If your wife doesn't want to see beer in the fridge buy orange juice or try another brand.

    "If Sun doesn't want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language – or – 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way."

    This is "incriminating" only to people who have never had to make a business decision. Hell, that kind of "problem if you do, problem that can possibly be finagled if you don't" is made daily.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The 3rd option

      @Destroy All Monsters: "This is "incriminating" only to people who have never had to make a business decision."

      This is incriminating because it demonstrates an intent to knowingly leverage the work of other companies without agreement, acknowledgement, or payment of any kind. The option that's missing goes something like, "or we could open our wallets like Microsoft and Sun have done and develop our own language and/or development platform".

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      @Destroy All Monsters

      your argument seems to be that things that happen frequently can't be illegal. That's unlikely to stand up in court....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the mean time

    Oracle's patents are falling like rotten apples off the USPTO desk at an alarming rate.

    I understand that Larry meant to do a favor to his buddy Steve with this attack but I doubt Oracle stockholders will take this kindly if Google happens to win.

  4. DuTchie

    If Google had done the right thing, and had licensed Java rather than just using it anyway, perhaps Sun would have had enough revenue from Android licenses to remained independent...

    1. Daf L

      Android doesn't use Java... uses the Davlik VM and ASF Harmony libraries, and you do realise that Sun released most of Java as Free, Open Source under the GPL?

    2. Paul Shirley

      how often do we have to go through this strawman?

      If Sun had done the right thing and actually offered J2SE licences for mobile that might have been an option. They didn't. They only offered J2ME, a crippled mobile travesty incapable of supporting something like Android. You want J2ME go buy any of the 1000's (literally) of featurephones in the market. Just don't expect anything describable as a smartphone.

      Since Google needed to negotiate Sun into something Sun didn't want to do there was no point just begging for a J2ME licence, instead they went for something bigger. Sun chose not to partner with Google and stay in the game for the long term, choosing to protect their existing revenue in a rapidly dying market instead.

      Its noticeable that Sun were mightily pissed off but didn't resort to the courts. I think they understood what Oracle don't, that they'd given away most of the rights Oracle are now trying to assert. There's a reason Oracle vs Google has collapsed to a patent infringement case, one Oracle don't seem to be winning.

      1. Paul Shirley


        argh! that should be "begging for a J2SE licence". Sun would of course have happily sold them a useless J2ME licence. Need to drink more coffee before 1st post of day ;(

  5. 2cent

    Java is not the end all to be all

    If Google works hard and quickly and makes a Java -> Go interpreter and added appropriate additions to Go. Java would be out the door in seconds.

    Go, Google, Go

    To Oracle: no sense crying over spilled milk and good riddance.

    Quote from

    "The Go programming language is an open source project to make programmers more productive. Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language. "

    1. Paul Shirley

      If only it was that easy. There are 2 attacks.

      1: Oracle are attacking the underlying use of a VM with patents, changing source language makes no difference. That's the patent attack and luckily it doesn't seem to be going well for Oracle. Working around the patents might not have a crippling cost, having to compile to machine code would be very bad news.

      2: Copyrights. Having failed miserably to find anything but de minimus direct copying (of the 8 test files that don't ship with Android devices, weren't even used and were removed from the source tree), Oracle are inventing brand new law to try and attack the use of Java's library environment. The problem being that Sun didn't own the source they use and API's aren't currently copyrightable. I say invent, actually they're just recycling the paperwork from SCO vs the World (same lawyers, same crackpot thinking, same result?).

      However, if they succeed on the library front, changing language or VM becomes irrelevant. Simply calling the system libraries would be infringement, regardless of implementation. If Oracle succeed the entire software industry is in severe danger so don't expect that to be allowed to happen.

      I'm not sure Oracle are even trying to claim the Java language, something Sun very publicly gave away long ago.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020