Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oracle Challenges Google's Android

Last week Oracle launched a legal suit against Google in the federal court in San Francisco, which accuses Google of patent and copyright infringement over the inclusion of parts of Oracle’s Java software in its Android smartphone operating system. Android, is available free of charge, has been adopted by many mobile handset makers such as Motorola, Samsung and HTC and is seen by many as the real threat to Appleworld.

In a press statement, Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman said: "In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property."This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement."

Part of Oracle's complaint focuses on a piece of software included within the Android operating system called Dalvik. It is a virtual machine which is used to run some applications on Android devices. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt previously led the team that developed Java at Sun Microsystems as their chief technology officer.

The more interesting aspect of the whole show is that many regarded Java as open software and what is clear is that Oracle may not entirely share that view.

So will it end up in a licensing agreement and Android having to be charged for or will the case just drag on for ever?

Google's Android faces other challenges with Apple having filed a suit against the phone maker HTC in March. It claims that HTC violated 20 Apple patents related to touch and gesture features, including finger-swipe unlocking mechanisms, power conservation, touch-screen scrolling, and accelerometer capabilities.

What will be the impact on manufacturuers and will they jump ship and look for a safer ride with Windows?

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