Oracle's First Big Move With Sun? Use Sun's Patents To Sue Google

from the real-companies-innovate,-not-litigate dept

Over the past few years, Sun has been one of the more outspoken companies against abusing the patent system, with former CEO Jonathan Schwartz explaining that real companies innovate, not litigate. However, Sun and its patents are now owned by Oracle, and apparently Larry Ellison feels otherwise. Oracle is now suing Google for patent infringement, using a bunch of patents that Sun owns around Java, claiming that Google's Android implementation of Java is done without a license. This is a bit surprising, really, as big Silicon Valley tech companies don't often get into patent battles with each other -- and, historically, when they do launch such patent attacks, it's usually a sign of something bigger being wrong with the company. Anyway, if you're interested, the patents in question are 6,125,447, 6,192,476, 5,966,702, 7,426,720, RE38,104, 6,910,205 and 6,061,520. And here's the filing:
Interesting to see super lawyer David Boies on this one. His career really has gone downhill, hasn't it? From once leading the government's antitrust case against Microsoft to representing SCO's ridiculous lawsuits and now being involved in yet another silly patent fight?

Either way it will be interesting to see Google's response. Unlike many big tech companies, Google hasn't warehoused patents at quite the same rate. The company certainly does regularly apply for and get patents, but if you watch the numbers, they're much lower than other tech companies, and I can't recall Google ever making a patent claim against another company. So it'll be interesting if Google responds with the standard response to a patent lawsuit between two big tech companies: which is to countersue over other patents, effectively launching the nuclear counterstrike. My guess is that the more likely response is that Google will eventually just pay off Oracle to make this lawsuit go away.

Filed Under: java, patents, sdk
Companies: google, oracle, sun

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  1. identicon
    Richard, 13 Aug 2010 @ 8:16am

    Something wrong

    First of all, this is the result of "defensive portfolios".

    Second, the signs are plentiful that something went horribly wrong inside Oracle after the Sun acquisition. Ellison publicly bashed Schwartz for everything under the sun

    then went on about how to recoup those losses. I took that to mean that, the strategy they had planned with sun's assets failed and that they have buyers remorse. Also, all of the rock star talent left after the acquisition and the O was left with lots of OSS and the third largest idea patent portfolio. I suppose this is how they plan to recoup that money. What a shame....

    BTW: take a look at the ironic text showing up in the Google ad box:

    "How To Patent Your Idea 3 Easy Steps To Patent & Make Money Get A Free Patent & Invention Kit"

    Is this RJR's business?

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