August 13, 2010

Oracle Suing Google Over Android OS

Redwood City, California-based technology firm Oracle is suing Google, claiming that the latter's Android operating system violates patents the former now holds following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, various press outlets were reporting Friday.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and accuses Google of "knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property" in the development of their popular smartphone software, according to what Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman said in a statement printed by Reuters in an August 13 story.

"This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies," added Tillman.

On Thursday, IDG News Services reporter James Niccolai spoke with Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney, who clarified what Google is accused of doing. According to what Dulaney told Niccolai, Android uses a Java-compatible technology known as Dalvik, which was, as the reporter paraphrased, "built"¦ from the ground up without using any Sun technology or intellectual property."

Oracle, however, believes that Dalvik--which makes it possible for any computer to run Java-based applications--is a competitor to Java and infringes upon one or more parts of seven different Java-related patents and seeking a court order preventing Google from using Java as part of their phone operating system, as well as unspecified damages and legal fees.

According to Reuters, "Analysts said the suit against Google could signal that Oracle intends to be more aggressive in seeking licensees for Java, a technology that is used in many types of Internet-based products"¦ Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison has said he views the Java software as a key asset, pointing to its use in a variety of electronic devices, from PCs to DVD players."

Oracle acquired the rights to Java with the purchase of Sun Microsystems earlier this year in a deal worth a reported $5.6 to $7.5 billion. The acquisition was completed on January 27.


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