EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.02.12

Oracle/Apple Litigation Versus Android/Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Oracle, Patents at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Newspaper

Summary: News updates on the patent cases against Android, the platform which quickly conquers the mobile phones and tablets space

PATENTS are a thorn on the side of Android’s success. Now that Android and Linux are more tightly joined by the hip, defending one helps defend the other.

Not so long ago, Oracle and Google were urged to negotiate, resulting in a proposition that failed. This continues to be reported on [1, 2].

All those patent fights are proving to be costly and as one article put it last month: “Two upcoming cases in the United States – one against Motorola and the other against Samsung – have the potential to strike deeper blows on either side. The trials involve the legal rights to the core technology behind smartphones and tablet computers and whoever loses could face large damages and increased costs. That could raise prices for consumers.”

Of course, as always, it is good for lawyers, for billionaires who run giant corporations, and it all comes at the expense of everyone else.

Around the same day Reuters published an article on a similar subject and fortunately enough Apple is not getting its way. While it accumulates more controversial patents it is failing to stop Android using them. The Indian press takes the side of Android, To quote this new article titled “touch is forbidden”:

Many are trying, thanks to software patents. Patents have become a bane to the very essence of innovation. They are arsenals, ostensibly meant to defend but more often used to offend. Yahoo’s lawsuit against Facebook over 10 patents further proves that weaponizing software patents is the last gasp of a dying business.

Which brings me to the news that Twitter is trying to patent one of the most instinctive gestures on the iPhone, what they call User Interface Mechanics. Anyone who has used a Twitter client on their phone knows to refresh the page: You “pull” it down and release. Others use this as well, like Google’s Gmail mobile site.

But as Techcrunch noticed, this functionality isn’t built into every core app on the iPhone (like the Mail app), and the reason is probably because it’s potential lawsuit bait.

The Oracle case carries on and Groklaw keeps track of everything. Professor Webbink writes:

Not a lot of activity in the case yesterday. Only a couple of administrative filings. In the first (841 [PDF; Text]) the Court addresses what it expects to be somewhat crowded conditions in the public seating area of the courtroom at the beginning of the trial. In part this is due to the large size of the jury pool. So the Court has asked the respective parties to limit the size of their entourages.

Pamela Jones later adds:

Remember when there were all those scary headlines about Oracle suing Google for $6 billion for alleged patent infringement? Did that preposterous fantasy come true?

Instead, Google, without even any counterclaims of patent infringement to fire back, got almost all of Oracle’s asserted patents tossed out as invalid by the USPTO in reexaminations. There’s one left standing and another that might be valid if Oracle can successfully appeal a preliminary finding of invalidity by the USPTO, with a grand total of damages estimates from the court’s independent adviser being less than a million, after adjustments, if Oracle can prove infringement, a very, very big IF.

Congratulations, Oracle, for shooting yourself in the foot.

Now there are some new scary headlines, like this one, “Why Google Might Be Going to $0″ this morning about how much money Google will have to pay because Google is being sued by Vringo, Vringo calling itself I/P Engine in the litigation, with predictions that Google will surely settle to avoid being valued at zero by the time Vringo is done with it.

The dispute is likely to continue for a while because neither side is backing off:

In the papers, Google argued that the trial could be shortened from its currently scheduled duration of eight weeks and sought to appear before US District Judge William Alsup instead of a jury. Oracle doesn’t believe the trial schedule should be revised nor is it willing to waive its right to a jury trial.

Google estimates it will have to pay about $2.8 million if it’s determined that Android infringes on two Java patents that are being reviewed in the case. The company, which is based in Mountain View, California, told Alsup that it’s also prepared to pay 0.5 percent of Android’s future revenue for one Java patent expiring at the end of this year and 0.015 percent of Android’s future revenue for the other patent, which expires in April 2018.

The court papers don’t explain how Android’s revenue would be calculated. Google doesn’t charge for Android, but makes some money from mobile advertising occurring on the software and third-party applications sold to run on the operating systems.

It is important to keep Android tax-free. When Free software is subjected to patent tax everything gets very tricky; primarily, redistribution is restricted.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

5 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    April 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Gravatar

    The CONTU report that the judge just cited sounds like a must-read. One of the Grokkers had a post that was particularly thought-provoking:

    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20120402192119280&title=Oracle+v.+Google+-+Both+Parties+Take+Exception+to+Kearl+Expert+Report&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=963317#c963329

    The duopoly has continually found new anticompetitive lows to sink to, especially when it comes to keeping FOSS as an innovator to rob rather than innovate on their own. This has continued since Apple took the GUI from Xerox and MS plagiarized from Emacs for the Word for DOS interface. EULA and IP lines have become so incredibly blurred that no-one is safe from a baseless lawsuit.

  2. mcinsand said,

    April 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Well that didn’t come out quite correctly. Apple didn’t start pillaging from FOSS until sometime later, and Xerox isn’t FOSS. Still, taking the GUI from Xerox is a good example of how Apple has always been about marketing others’ ideas, rather than innovating on its own.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    In the same vein, Microsoft was against software patents until it became a monopoly and then wanted them for protectionism.

    mcinsand Reply:

    Oh, yeah! And remember how MS got into the office market? Interoperability, interoperability, interoperability. Excel handled 1-2-3 files better than 1-2-3. Word for DOS handled WordPerfect for DOS files better than WP. They were all for free use of different companies’ file formats until they no longer felt the need to compete on performance.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They just couldn’t stick to their Word.

What Else is New


  1. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  2. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  3. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  4. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  5. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  6. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  7. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  8. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  10. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  11. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  12. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  13. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  14. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  15. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  16. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  17. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  18. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  19. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  20. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  21. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  22. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  23. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  24. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  25. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  26. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  27. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  28. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day



  29. Links 12/4/2014: Games

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/4/2014: Applications

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts