Oracle announced Thursday evening (August 12) that they would be filing a lawsuit against Google, claiming that their Android phone software infringes upon patents and copyrights of their Java software, which they acquired when they purchased Sun Microsystems in January for $7.4 billion.
"In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement," Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman said in an official statement.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleges that Google “willfully and deliberately” infringed upon seven Java patents and has even gone so far as to hire former Sun Java engineers to help with the development of the Dalvik Java Virtual Machine, the backbone of the Android OS. Even though the Android OS depends on Java to run, it is anything but a carbon copy.
"From a developer's perspective, Dalvik looks like a Java Virtual Machine, but strictly speaking, Dalvik is not a JVM. Dalvik executes dex bytecode, not Java bytecode. And there are differences in the structure of Dalvik class files as compared to Java class files. Nevertheless, for all intents and purposes, building an Android application is really an exercise in building a peculiar sort of Java application,"PCWorld’s Rick Grehan previously reported when the Android was originally released in 2008.
Google released the following statement Friday (August 13) afternoon: “We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit. The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place. We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform.”
Many reports see this as a way for Oracle to infiltrate Google’s recent success in the Android market, leading to a settlement which will see Java licensing giving them leverage on mobile markets and a free ticket to Royalty Town on the over 200,000 Android-powered phones selling daily.