Google accuses Oracle of turning back on open source

Google has defended itself against Ellison’s mob – claiming that its Android OS does not infringe Oracle’s patents and copyrights.

Furious, Google has now accused Oracle of attacking the open-source licensing policies it used to support.

Google has approached the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California asking it to throw out Oracle’s lawsuit and declare the patents invalid.

It has been a year of legal tiffs over price fixing, copyright and patent infringement but this particular suit, which Oracle filed back in August (it’s since sued chip companies for price fixing) is different as it involves open-source programming and is given to handset manufacturers free.

According to the WSJ, Oracle’s complaint against Google comes from its purchase of Sun Microsystems earlier this year. Of course, Sun developed Java – so Oracle is now accusing Google of seven counts of patent infringement and one count of copyright infringement associated with Java.

Google is on the defence because Android used components through a separate process which allowed developers to independently create Java-based software – using Sun-published specifications.

Sun tried to keep others from fragmenting Java with slightly different versions. Those that used Sun specifications didn’t receive a licence to its intellectual property unless they passed compatibility tests, Google said.

Google says Sun put out restrictions against using Java variants in mobile phones.

“It’s disappointing that after years of supporting open-source, Oracle turned around to attack not just Android, but the entire open-source Java community with vague software patent claims,” a Google spokesman told the WSJ.