The armour had been raised, the battle-field set for perhaps the most intensifying battle on patent infringement. No, we are not talking about the Apple and Google battle. We are talking about the fiery battle between two IT giants- Google and Oracle which has been going on for long and has now reached its (fair) climax.
Oracle’s claims as we all know were obsolete and half-witted. Oracle sued Google in 2010, by laying claims that the search giant infringed its copy-rights and patents in building the Android operating System.
Oracle had filed a suit which stated that Google stepped on its intellectual property by cloning 37 Java APIs in its native operating systems. APIs are Application Programming Interfaces or in layman terms, the language developers used to develop Java applications. Hence, what Oracle actually meant was that Google copied some part of the Java architecture [software code] and embedded into Android without its prior permission.
After fighting for more than a year, Oracle lost to Google- almost empty-handed. The judge in his jurisdiction stated that apart from nine lines of code and two odd test files, Google owed Oracle exactly nothing. The verdict was totally on the side of Google on almost every issue raised by Oracle.
Google however has reverted back by demading $4 million compensation from the Database giant. Google reportedly has juggled a mind-boggling 97 million documents during the law-suit. Google claims that organizing and copying statements gulped over $ 2.9 million of their earnings and the rest $ 1.1 million were spent fighting the law-suit in court.
On a personal note, we think Oracle deserves this. Oracle eminently claimed infringement on an API call- which in geeky terms is simply the method of accessing the underlying functions. Had that been ruled in favour of Oracle, all the GCC libraries, POSIX and codes written by clean-techniques would be under infringement. That apparently would mean that the group who is the first to write the API implementation can sue everyone which follows them. That’s like banging Ed for calling Eddy, just because Edd called Eddy first.
It’s astute, despicable and to some extent shameful how the leading companies, instead of innovating and competing are busy prosecuting each other. This would very well be more than a lesson to companies like Apple who are very fond of filing lawsuits on copyright/patent infringement. Kill one and the rest hundred know what you are.
If Oracle is smart, it would pay the sum right away to avoid any contemptible embarrassment. However, if it was smart, it wouldn’t have filed the suit in the very first place.