More updates about the Oracle vs Google lawsuit

The text of Oracle’s complaint is available online, here (courtesy of Rick Ross of JavaLobby and dzone). It appears as though the complaint centers around 7 patents and a claim of copyright infringement.


There are 7 patent claims, all of which seem to center around virtual machine related concepts:

6,125,447 – Protection domains to provide security in a computer system
6,192,476 – Controlling access to a resource
5,966,702 – Method and apparatus for pre-processing and packaging class files
7,426,720 – System and method for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space cloning of a master runtime system process
RE38,104 – Method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code
6,910,205 – Interpreting functions utilizing a hybrid of virtual and native machine
6,061,520 – Method and system for performing static initialization


The complaint also references the copyrights around code, documentation, and other artifacts surrounding the Java platform, and claims Google infringes on some of these as well. It isn’t immediately clear what they are referring to, however.

What this means

It is pretty clear that this complaint is centered around the Dalvik VM. Lots of people (including me) have already been speculating about whether or not GWT could also find itself a target of Oracle lawsuits. It is probably safe from the patents listed above, but there is still a potential of it having the same copyright violations as Android – or perhaps Oracle has more patents up its sleeve.

Further, people have been suggesting that Google change Android to use one of the alternate JVM languages (such as Scala or Clojure) instead of Java, but it is unlikely that would make a difference, since the complaint centers around the VM.

The reaction from the Java community has been swift and negative towards Oracle. Google is doing some cool and innovative stuff with Java, why is Oracle going after them like this? Google has been hugely involved with Java, will this lawsuit push them towards another language/platform?

  1. I’d like to see Google hire Gosling and have him work with Ken Thomson and Rob Pike to make Go a viable alternative to Java.

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