Oracle vs Google – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

I can already hear it, the famous Michael Buffer ready to say his popular line “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”, but this time the protagonists won’t be the usual fighters like Manny Pacquiao or Nonito Donaire. On the red corner, the complainant – ORACLE Corporation, and on the other corner, the defendant – Google Inc. Yes, the fight will be inside the court and not inside the ring between software company Oracle and search engine Google.

In a press release, Oracle simply announced that the company filed a complaint for patent and copyright infringement against Google, Inc.

“In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement,” said Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman.

“Google’s Android competes with Oracle America’s Java as an operating system software platform for cellular telephones and other mobile devices,” Oracle said in its complaint, while noting that the Android system includes Java applications.

If you will recall, Oracle obtained Java as part of its $5.6 billion purchase of Sun. Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is the underlying technology that powers state-of-the-art programs including utilities, games, and business applications. Java is free to download.

So why the sudden lawsuit from Oracle. Simple – its business. One would think – Android has been on the market as open-source code since 2007, and Oracle has owned Sun since January, so why sue now? Again, its all about business. In a recent data published by Gartner Inc., Android’s share of the smart-phone market surged from 1.8% in the second quarter of last year, to 17.2% in the same period this year — overtaking Apple Inc.’s iPhone operating system, and placing Google third behind Symbian and Research In Motion Ltd.

And since Android include Java applications, it is but normal for the rightful owner to get a share of the pie. It’s that simple. But, the implication / impact of this lawsuit is much bigger – bigger than Oracle and Google. Java is everywhere, so will Oracle sue all the users of Java? Require them all to pay a fee to use Java? If they do, then its a good pay day for Oracle but it will shake the industry since most of the phones and internet devices runs Java.

In my humble opinion, Oracle should take it easy here – more people using Java, the better for Oracle. Oracle can easily integrate their technology into devices that supports Java. Oracle should come up with a win-win situation with all the players including Google – to ensure that Java will still be used. If not, Oracle might win the lawsuit, but Google will end up winning the battle. Hello Flash – Hello Silverlight.


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