Oracle Trips on Own Feet in Android Patent Dispute

Oracle, a company generally considered to be pure evil by many open source enthusiasts and tech lovers, has been battling Google in court over an Android patent dispute regarding their use of Java.

Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems—who invented Java, the platform that Android is based on—in 2009, transferring the intellectual property to their new parent company, but, in 2007, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz fully endorsed Google’s use of Java in Android on his blog. The posting was recently removed by Oracle in attempt to cover their bases, but has now been unearthed by the Wayback Machine to be used in Google’s legal defense.

Groklaw’s explanation of the finding’s significance:

Now the interesting question about this and other similar comments that were apparently made by Sun executives is whether the statements communicated an understanding to Google and others that they would not be threatened with Sun’s patents; statements upon which they relied. This is the legal doctrine of estoppel.

It’s unknown how well the defense will hold up in court, but seeing as how estoppel has been used successfully in similar cases in the past, it looks good for Google.


Post a response / What do you think?