Summary: An old position paper from Sun Microsystems helps shows a certain resistance to patents such as those which Oracle uses against Android
GROKLAW has some superb coverage of the Oracle vs. Google case, so as the trial kicks into full gear we mostly refrain from covering it. A lot of bloggers use Groklaw as a source while providing summaries.
One interesting post from Groklaw shows Sun’s position on software patents.
“I can’t find it on Oracle’s website any more,” writes Pamela Jones, “but thanks to Internet Archive, we can find Sun Microsystems writing about software patents in 2006 and explaining its position. This was back when the European Union was for a while considering adopting software patents. You will not believe what Sun’s position was. It’s definitely relevant to the Oracle v. Google litigation.
“Sun’s position paper was titled, “Software Patents: A European Union (EU) Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions must not Jeopardize Interoperability.” The title says it all, but I’m going to show the entire statement to you in all its glory, so Oracle can’t pretend, as it tried unsuccessfully to do with the Jonathan Schwartz corporate blog, that it wasn’t an official company statement. Sun strongly urged that Europe, if it adopted the Directive, “allow for the creation of products which can interoperate with the protected products to safeguard competition in the sector and to provide greater choice and lower costs for consumers.”
“Imagine that. Sun said publicly that interoperability was more important than IP rights, even patents, because it led to competition and hence greater choice and lower costs for consumers.”
Can this be used to weaken Oracle’s case? We shall see. █