Oracle today filed a complaint for patent and copyright infringement against Google over some of the Java code used in Google’s Android mobile operating system. At first glance, suit,which accuses Google of infringing seven patents as well as violating copyright, seems like both a Larry Ellison-style provocation against Google while it’s reeling from the network neutrality fight and leaked memos on privacy, and the coming true of developers’ worst fears following Oracle’s purchase of Sun, the creator of Java. Oracle’s terse press release on the suit says:
In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement.
Given that Android’s been on the market as open-source code since 2007, and Oracle has owned Sun since January, it’s unclear why the suit is being filed now, but perhaps the fact that Google is seeing 200,000 Android devices activated every day has something to do with it. However, if Oracle’s really going after everyone using Java, things could get really hairy in the world of mobile phones and enterprise software — after all, Java is the underpinning for a lot of applications, as Oracle undoubtedly knows. Neither Oracle nor Google returned requests for comment.
And since Oracle asks in its complaint not only for treble damages (basically what you ask for when you’re sure folks have knowingly infringed on your patents, of which there are seven in this particular case) and demands that all infringing copies of its software or means of reproducing the software be “impounded and destroyed, or otherwise reasonably disposed of,” folks had better keep their Motorola Droids and HTC Evos close at hand. The full complaint is below. Share and enjoy.