Whilst the Oracle/Google case was initially based on the assumption that Oracle's patents were valid – now all but demolished – Oracle has switched tack to claim that it is a copyright violation. At heart is the question of whether an API or even a computer language can be copyrightable.
Last week saw the beginning of the Oracle vs. Google trial. Oracle's main complaint, involving a damages claim of $1bn, is that Android's use of 37 Java APIs infringes its copyright in the Java programming language. Google maintains APIs cannot be copyrighted, and has tried to frame the case as Oracle's response to its own failure to build a Java-based smartphone platform.
Last month, Judge Paul Grewal ordered the Oracle and Google to attempt to negotiate a settlement. Google offered a $2.8 million settlement on condition that Oracle can prove patent infringement. However, Oracle rejected that offer as too low, so the case will go to court on the 16th April.
Google, Facebook and other companies operating totally 21 Social Networking websites are facing criminal proceedings in an Indian Court, over objectionable content accessible through the websites. A High Court has warned that the sites can face a ban in India unless they screen content. Is the growing flux of regulations surrounding social media a risk for businesses investing in social?
On 18th January, wikipedia.or among other estimated 10,000 web sites stopped their service in order to protest against the US legislation planning to endorse SOPA and PIPA. Software engineers might think, that they are not affected by the legislation, especially if they are outside the U.S., but considering Big Data, Cloud Computing and other trends this could be a rather naive perspective.
Tom Arbogast, Bas Vodde and Craig Larman have released a sample chapter from their upcoming book on scaling Lean and Agile. The chapter deals with the difficult topic of writing contracts for agile development.
In a recent interview with The San Francisco Chronicle the patent counsel of Google, Tim Porter, claims the patent system itself is broken. Patent offices worldwide have been increasingly granting protection to “innovations” that are not innovative. The IT Industry is currently facing a series of patent trials which some large corporates seem to leverage as weapons for attacking competitors.
Patents are quite often in the news these days, most notably the ones related to smart phone vendors like HTC, Samsung, Google and Apple. This also holds for the rather emotional and controversial discussion about software patents which some consider as a means to ensure innovation and others as a kind of weapon. Do software patents cause more harm than good, or vice versa?
SUSE, formally part of Novell, has renewed its interoperability agreement with Microsoft for five more years. This agreement includes a 100 million investment in “new SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates”. And like the last agreement it raises more questions than answers.
The legal case between Google and Oracle has been reduced in scope, just as Oracle subpoenas Apache to provide information about the Harmony project.
Google has fired back against Oracle in the ongoing JVM dispute, and is now asserting that the Oracle JVM patents are invalid because of obviousness. Things are just about to get interesting.
Having just announced a record breaking quarter, Azul Systems are open sourcing a considerable part of their intellectual property under GPLV2, as part of a major new initiative to try and improve the performance of managed code on commodity platforms.
Google has issued lately a cease and desist order against Steve Kondik, a well known Android developer who has created CyanogenMod, a free custom Android firmware, bundling some non open source applications like Maps, GMail, Talk, YouTube, and Market. Some see this as the first friction between Google and developers.
Microsoft has placed C# and CLI specifications, ECMA 334 and ECMA 335, under the Community Promise which basically protects anybody implementing them in any language and in any way from being sued by Microsoft for infringing corresponding intellectual properties or patents. This is directly related to Mono, the open source .NET implementation, whose legal status was unclear until now.
The Linux-based phone, OpenMoko is currently in a patent dispute with Sisvel, the Italian patent holding firm known for its aggressive enforcement of MPEG patents.