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Oracle v. Google - My Precious
Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 09:59 AM EDT

Sorry for the movie analogies, but these images keep popping to mind. The latest is Larry Ellison as Gollum, grasping his "Java" patents and declaring, "My Precious." This comes to mind because of the revelation yesterday that Jonathan Schwartz, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, praised Google and others for incorporating Java into Android back in 2007.

Then the patents fell out of Sun's hands and into Oracle's (My Precious), and Schwartz' statement became an embarrassment. What to do? Why remove it from the internet, of course. But thanks to the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine, Schwartz' statement survives.

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.

I make a statement. (Congratulations, on incorporating my company's technology into yours even without a license to my patents.)

You hear the statement, and in reliance on the message the statement conveys rely on the statement to your detriment. (You incorporate the technology and, as a result, allegedly infringe the patents.)

I then try to enforce the patents against you but am barred from doing so under the doctrine of estoppel. (I cannot now deny I encouraged the infringement in the first place or at least led you to believe it was okay.)

To be fair, this isn't the easiest argument to make, but Google has already included it as an exhibit to its defenses.

I just can't get that image out of my head of LPOD sitting in a cave admiring "My Precious."


Oracle v. Google - My Precious | 185 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Oracle proprietary Linux kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 10:47 AM EDT
"Oracle just made its competitive position in the Linux space a lot more interesting with the acquisition of a startup called Ksplice .. The Ksplice code was created and distributed under the GPL v2 and other open source licenses, so it will be interesting to see if any of the commercial Linux distros fork Ksplice and add it to their own Linux support services" link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - My Precious
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 10:56 AM EDT
"Jonathan Schwartz, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, praised Google and others
for incorporating Java into Android back in 2007"

IIRC this was(is?) a crucial part of the SCO vs IBM/Novell case(s).

SCO (as Caldera) was a Linux promoter/developer and had their pockets full
Linux-promoting goodies from the early 1990s and on, up to, and into their
filings against both IBM and Novell.

The support of Java from Schwartz to Google seems important!



[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections thread
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 11:21 AM EDT
Please post any corrections under here. Ideally, post the correction in the
title e.g. oops->ops
Nigel Whitley

p.s Sorry - did not realise I wasn't logged in

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 11:24 AM EDT
So no talk of estoppel or Oracle v Google or LOTR under here, I guess.
Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: NigelWhitley on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 11:27 AM EDT
Please put comments on and suggestions for the Newspicks section under here.
Kindly include a link to the article when discussing a new item, for future
reference as articles scroll off the page.
Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - My Precious
Authored by: ftcsm on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 11:32 AM EDT

This vision of Larry as Gollum is priceless.

Oracle is not accostumed to compete. Their arrogance is well known in the
field. I work for a government owned bank on Brazil and we always had difficult
times with Oracle and nice times with Sun. Guess what? Now we have difficult
times with Oracle/Sun.

Since we have some legacy applications that uses Oracle, we are stuck to
dealing with them but almost all new systems are pointing toward PostgreSQL (and
JBoss), when possible.

Oracle is risking their customers as Open Source databases are reaching a
level of robustness and completeness that rivals or surpasses these old mamoths.
PostgreSQL 9 is fantastic and already gives all we need for the majority of
these systems.

Oracle should really think about the extinction of the mamoths ...



Faith moves mountains but I still prefer dynamite

[ Reply to This | # ]

Too late to put the estoppel back in the bottle? ...nt
Authored by: Ian Al on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 11:57 AM EDT

Ian Al
OK, Just one more article and then I'll seek help.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OSGi and others
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 12:03 PM EDT
From a Pikesoft May 2007 article about OSGi:

Imagine developers didn't have to wait for the Java Community Process, the device makers, and the carriers to get powerful new APIs onto handsets. Imagine instead a service-oriented component architecture on the phone that enables developers to deploy new Java APIs to the handsets themselves and to write applications that discover and use these components immediately. Want to have a cool Flash Lite UI for your Java app instead of dowdy LCDUI forms? Want a nice object-oriented database that can be shared by a suite of Java applications? Want to access Google services (or any web service) from convenient Java APIs rather than through tedious SOAP interfaces? That last one is the big one: the ability to deploy and consume software components that encapsulate Web 2.0 services as simple, tested APIs on the mobile. This is Mobile 2.0: a framework that enables developers to mash up local data with Internet APIs and do it in Internet time the way web developers do today.

So, Android-like layers have been around for a long time. It apperas to me, as judged by the recent Oracle statement that "Android is continuing to gain market share", that it is the market share per se which makes the difference if people get sued or not.

Why didn't anyone pursue OSGi in the same way as Android? Or, any of the other alternatives, e.g. Superwaba, at the time of Androids launch?



[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Deep Pockets - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT
    • Deep Pockets - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 04:35 PM EDT
The patent that survived? (6061520)
Authored by: reiisi on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 12:12 PM EDT
The first couple of patents were not very comprehensible to me when my brain is
tired after work, so I had given up on trying to read any of them.

Today I looked up the one that survives at this point.

I can't imagine. Cutting constant leaves out of the expressions output by
compilers has been part of compiler technology for since before I started
playing with computers more than 30 years ago. That includes initializations and
it includes classes. Without it, C's macros would have much more limited use.

I have old compilers from Metrowerks, circa 1995, that can demonstrate the
removal of constant expressions from class initializations, including both C and
Pascal. Pascal is intermediate code interpreted, and the version is

Even if this patent is narrowed (despite its claims) to just Java interpreters,
you're still talking about obvious and not original. BASICs were doing this back
in the 80s and 90s. Perl was doing this already in the early 90s.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - My Precious
Authored by: dio gratia on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 12:45 PM EDT

I make a statement. (Congratulations, on incorporating my company's technology into yours even without a license to my patents.)
You mean a statement like this from the News Pick Scoop: Oracle scrubs site of embarrassing Java blog?

As well as the "Precious" meme from the LoTR, I recall the Max character from the movie Notting Hill Where you could substitute Sauron for James Bond. It would seem that Jonathon Schwartz's entire blog has gone 404 though still showing up in search on the Oracle Blog page.

This is one for Oracle's jury I take it? The meme might be that it isn't the Ring that is lost rather the Melville opportunity to stab at thee, Google substituting for The Whale. We should be so lucky were it his last breath.

Excuse me, I'm late for Allegory and Allusions Anonymous meeting.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This Americal Life on Patent Trolls
Authored by: UncleJosh on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 01:06 PM EDT
This week's episode of "This American Life" about patent trolls, goes to East Texas, Marshall, Texas in particular. They talk to Peter Detkin who coined the term "Patent Troll" and now works for, you guessed it, Nathan Mrhyvold's company Intellectual Ventures! Worth the listen, it is just finishing on one of the local PBS radio stations, check your listings or go to the "This American Life" web site (link above) some time later and listen from their archive.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Color me confused
Authored by: BJ on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 02:33 PM EDT

I thought our defense of Google was riding, among others, on the theory that
Dalvik isn't Java.

Maybe we shouldn't retroactively embrace Schwartz' statements too eagerly?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Java My Precious -- Sun my worthless?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 02:37 PM EDT
Judge Alsup seems to have made a very good point about
Oracle's damages claim when he said that there was nothing
it other than someone making $700 an hour.

If the damages to Oracle over Android are $6 beeeeeelyun
all the rest of Sun, including all of their hardware sales,
distribution and manufacturing divisions, compiler
technologies, the Solaris OS, their databases, etc., etc.,
_and_ all the non-software patents wasn't worth very much
considering they paid 7 for it lock, stock and container.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Update on Oracle Wants To Depose Page
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 06:11 PM EDT

As an update to the previous story on Oracle v. Google - Oracle Wants to Depose Page, Ho-hum, it's now being reported that Magistrate Judge Ryu has made a decision.

Oracle May Depose Google's Larry Page, Orders Magistrate

Oracle may depose Page for a maximum of two hours, excluding breaks, solely on topics relevant to the willfulness of the defendant's alleged patent infringement, and the value of Android to the defendant, Judge Donna M. Ryu of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said in her order.

The judge ruled that Oracle may also depose Google employees Bob Lee and Tim Lindholm, while denying Oracle the right to depose Dipchand Nishar.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Re: Sorry for the movie analogies
Authored by: bilateralrope on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 06:19 PM EDT
You have no need to apologise for making analogies to well known media.
Especially when the reference is to The Lord of the Rings.

One of the older traditions around the SCO vs IBM lawsuit has been to refer to
IBM's lawyers as the Nazgul.

You only really need to apologies to people who don't get the reference you use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More possible estoppel
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 09:20 PM EDT

I wrote up the statements from Sun about Apache Harmony again he re: ( )

This is important to Google because Android uses the Apache Harmony libraries internally, and will probably claim that it was expecting to get a Java license (and thus all the patents) once Apache Harmony became a certified Java implementation. The Apache vs Sun/Oracle issue and Google vs Sun/Oracle case are intimately linked.

[ Reply to This | # ]

O tempora, o mores
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 01:22 AM EDT
It is an unfortunate sign of the times we live in that the captains of the
content and IT-industries are manically fixated on Control of Ownership.
They have no imagination to see the opportunities they could open up for
themselves and everybody else; no trust in the imagination of others to grab
those opportunity and create something beneficial and worthwhile.
Their need for immediate gain, up front, blinds them to the barrenness their
greed leave in its wake.
They are not serving the world but demand that the world serve them.
And, we, the great unwashed masses, are the poorer for it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Remember Carlo Piana?
Authored by: jbb on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 04:51 AM EDT
He had assured us that this law suit was not about the money:
Others have just pointed out that Oracle is a corporation, corporations make money, it just makes sense that if there is a revenue stream, the corporation just goes for it, regardless the collateral damages. [...]

What is worth knowing is that I have received clear reassurances that this is not the case, and that these reassurances come from inside the company, at a reasonably high level. [...] I am reported that Oracle is not pursuing a patent royalty revenue stream from the formerly Sun's (and its own) patent portfolio or to block other developers' or commercial entities through a patent stranglehold.

That made absolutely no sense to me back when he made the statement last September. It seems crystal clear now that the reassurances he speaks of were completely bogus. Perhaps it was a communication problem. Maybe I keep misreading this part of his article over and over again. ISTM Oracle v. Google is all about "pursuing a patent royalty stream". As I've said before, if it is not about the money and it's not about hurting FOSS and it's not about blocking development then what the heck is it about?

Am I missing something or misinterpreting what he wrote? One of the reasons I wonder about my interpretation is because the way I read it, his article makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I'm reminded of the old maxim:

When people say it's not about the money then you know it's about the money.

[ ] Obey DRM Restrictions
[X] Ignore DRM Restrictions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - My Precious
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 05:11 PM EDT
I don't think this 404 was a malicious attempt to scrub

The Sun and Oracle blogs were merged post-takeover. Jonathan
Schwartz's blog was overwritten Oracle employee Jonathan

Seems plausible anyway...

[ Reply to This | # ]

newspicks rss not updating for me - Nader last item
Authored by: SilverWave on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 08:08 PM EDT

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Soooo, Google's using *JAVA*, not Dalvik?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:43 PM EDT
Who knew!

Google hasn't implemented the Java class libraries outside the Java license?

Who knew!

(What a crap story - just a pile of Google fanboi rants)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - My Precious
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:25 PM EDT

Kinda reminds me of the SCO lawsuit and when Caldera's
release of the System 7 UNIX code under a BSD license came

Larry...if history is any indication, you got a

[ Reply to This | # ]

Schwartz commented without knowing what Android really did
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:20 PM EDT

From Slashdot, posted by an engineer who worked for Sun at the time Android came out:
http:// sid=2348832&cid=36882124

Accordin g to the post, there were rumors at the time that " Android would be using Java, and Schwartz went off half-cocked".

There is also speculation elsewhere that he didn't go off half-cocked, but that he had been talking with Google and was under the impression that Sun and Google would collaborate on putting Java on Android.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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