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Android Tug-‘O-War: Google V Oracle


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Android war could cost Google dearly, if Oracle has its way.

Oracle are accusing green man creator Google of pinching its Java software to develop its fledgling platform in 2005, and using it without a licence.

Tech giant Oracle also insist Google were aware of the need for a licence to use its Java computer language, essential to the operation of Android, and are now looking for a whopping $1 billion in compensation.

Google, on the other side, say no license was needed to run the software, critical to Google’s mobile domination plans as it allows it run Android over multiple platforms like mobiles, tablets and PCs.

“Google didn’t need a license to use the Java language in Android,” Google lawyer Robert Van Nest told the US Federal court in San Fancisco yesterday, reports Bloomberg.

This is not the first time Android has been on the receiving end of patent litigation.

And like any good patent trial things look to get ugly during the eight week trial with accusations flying from Oracle that the Internet giant even tried to hide the fact they used Java in Android’s code and say they have e-mails from Andy Rubin, Google Senior VP, to prove it.

Oracle lawyer, Michael Jacobs, claims to have e-mail evidence of Mr Rubin’s awareness of the need to licence the software, dated October 2005, which he presented in court yesterday.

However, later e-mails show Google couldn’t come to an arrangement over the licence which would have allowed it to use Java and write its own code over it as it would have been obliged to give back to the open source community.

“You can’t keep it for yourself,” Jacobs told the court.

He also sensationally decalred Android “broke the basic rules of the Java programming community.”

In other damning allegations, Oracle lawyers also presented further e-mail evidence, which claim to show Google execs conspiring to hide the Java code and one ordering another to “scrub out a few more Js” – which Oracle lawyer alleges stand for Java.

These accusations also goes against the entire ‘open source’ code ethos Google has peddled about its hugely successful platform.

And lets not forget Rubin is a former Apple exec who defected to Google, and the man Apple allege may have taken many of its ideas for his brainchild, Android, during a seperate patent trial with HTC.

But Larry Ellison, Oracle boss, also admitted in court yesterday it only began its litigation with Google after giving up trying to enter the smartphone race.

Java is software used across millions of devices and business applications including Linux, Mac OS X, was developed by Sun Microsystems whizz James Gosling. Sun Micro was later bought out by Oracle in 2010.

The trial continues.