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Google Asserts Oracle Patents Invalid

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In the latest filing uncovered by Groklaw, Google has counter-filed a claim to the earlier suit. They claim that the Dalvik VM is not a JVM, and that the Dalvik bytecode generated from the Java source is not JVM bytecode.

They then further up the ante by asserting that the Oracle patents in question are invalid because “one or more claims are directed to abstract ideas or other non-statutory subject matter.”

Google also denies any involvement with any protected elements (e.g. copyrighted code) claiming third-party liability; in effect, that if someone else committed the code to the repository (managed by the Open Handset Alliance) then Google should not be held liable.

Where it gets interesting – especially in light of the recent Apache threatening to leave the JCP is that the suit specifically calls out this point of Harmony in Appendix A:

Sun also released the specifications for Sun's Java platform, including Sun's Java virtual machine, under a free-of-charge license. The license allows developers to create "clean room" implementations of Sun's Java specifications. If those implementations demonstrate compatibility with the Java specification, then Sun would provide a license for any of its intellectual property needed to practice the specification, including patent rights and copyrights. One example of a "clean room" implementation of Sun's Java is Apache Harmony, developed by the Apache Software Foundation. The only way to demonstrate compatibility with the Java specification is by meeting all of the requirements of Sun's Technology Compatibility Kit ("TCK") for a particular edition of Sun's Java. Importantly, however, TCKs were only available from Sun, initially were not available as open source, were provided solely at Sun's discretion, and included several restrictions, such as additional licensing terms and fees. In essence, although developers were free to develop a competing Java virtual machine, they could not openly obtain an important component needed to freely benefit from Sun's purported open-sourcing of Java.

They also note that Oracle, prior to the acquisition of Sun, called for exactly the same openness.

Whatever happens, the outcome of the suit will be closely watched by millions of Java developers.

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Community comments

  • They also said

    by vic c,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

  • Exhibit J!

    by Jeremy Deane,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Exhibit J! Really you can't make this stuff up ;)

    Groklaw has the reply, which was filed Wednesday. It reads in part:

    Google further denies that the document attached to Oracle's Amended Complaint as Exhibit J contains a true and correct copy of a class file from either Android or "Oracle America's Java." Google states further that Oracle has redacted or deleted from the materials shown in Exhibit J both expressive material and copyright headers that appear in the actual materials, which are significant elements and features of the files in question.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p