Aug. 14th, 2010

Oracle has just sued Google, claiming that Android infringes their Java patents.

Both as the owner of an Android phone and as a Java developer, this does not fill me with joy. Companies are less likely to build on Java if they think Oracle are going to turn around and sue them if they get too successful. Android won't suffer much in the short-term, but carriers and developers are going to be more wary in the long run, over the 5-8 years it's likely to take to settle the lawsuit. It does take a bit of the shine out of owning an Android device.

Software patents are a stupid idea anyway. You shouldn't be allowed to patent an idea, but I doubt anyone in the US Patent Office knows enough about software to tell what should and shouldn't be patented.

Those patents are vague enough that any implementation of a virtual machine or JIT compiling is probably violating them. Oracle could go after .NET with them as well if they weren't sitting cosily with Microsoft.

Google may be slightly evil these days, but I hope they win, because Oracle are so greedy - Ellison on Open Source "Oracle is free to take it for nothing, include it in our products and charge for support, and that's what we'll do." (Source) At least Google does give back to OSS.

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