Bonum Certa Men Certa

Apple Benefits From Oracle's Patent Attack on Android

Steve Jobs with patent
Original photo by Matt Buchanan; edited by Techrights



Summary: Among those who benefit from an attack on Android there's Apple, whose CEO is a good friend of Oracle's CEO; more coverage about this development which dominates the news

THIS will hopefully be one of our last posts about Oracle vs. Google. We have already covered it in the following three posts:



Since those previous posts it has occurred to me that the party most likely to benefit is actually Apple, not Microsoft. Oracle only sues Google over Android, just like Apple sued HTC over Android. One must remember that Oracle's CEO and Apple's CEO are very close friends. Wikipedia reminds us that Ellison's "friend Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple, Inc) was [Ellison's] official wedding photographer." Anyway, it gives room only to theories.

“That's why Apple's iPhone is so much better than Microsoft phones.”
      --Larry Ellison, Oracle
A number of months ago Larry Ellison also said: "While most hardware businesses are low-margin, companies like Apple and Cisco enjoy very high-margins because they do a good job of designing their hardware and software to work together. If a company designs both hardware and software, it can build much better systems than if they only design the software. That's why Apple's iPhone is so much better than Microsoft phones."

Could the relationship with Apple play some role here? Maybe even a small role? "Actually, It's crApple attacking Google by proxy," one reader of ours opines. "But, a weak lawsuit this one," he argued, "I'm reading the points now..."

Google's Tim Bray from the Android team says "F**k Oracle" (he doesn't use asterisks though). This was brought up by Groklaw actually, having just addressed the spin-doctoring from Microsoft's MVP de Icaza:

Miguel De Icaza still wants everyone to hitch their wagons to Microsoft's star. He suggests that Google pay off Oracle and then switch to Microsoft .NET:
Google could settle current damages with Oracle, and switch to the better designed, more pleasant to use, and more open .NET platform.
Hahahahahahaha. That's the last life lesson to to be learned from this event, I'd suggest. How about instead what the community has been warning Miguel about for years: don't hitch your code to anybody's patented wagon. Watch out for patents. Watch out for Mono. Watch out for C#. Stallman is warning you:
It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See http://swpat.org and http://progfree.org.) This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.
And was he not right about the Java Trap? How many times must he be right before developers listen? I'm talking to you, Gnome. I'm talking to you, Canonical. Care what version of OpenOffice you use. I'm talking to everyone trying to pooh pooh patents as a toxic danger. It is real. And remember, CodePlex was set up to push Mono. That's what they said. Forewarned is forearmed.


Brian Proffitt goes ahead with the "SCOracle" meme:

I'll say this for Oracle, at least they're consistently contradictory. They'll extol the virtues of their partners, then turn right around and kick them in the--well, you know--and deploy an "innovative" copy of their partner's free software.

Or they'll claim to love open source, then let a prominent open source project suffer death by ignoring.

Or they'll tout open standards, then turn around and use patents on a standard programming language, then sue one of the biggest users of that technology.

Yes, consistent indeed.

Last night, when Oracle announced it was suing Google for alleged infringement of Oracle's Java patents, my initial reaction was one of resigned realization: when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems last year, I always wondered if it was just to get control of MySQL, arguably Oracle's once-biggest potential threat. They weren't doing anything with OpenSolaris, after all, and just this week at LinuxCon, praised Linux to the heavens.


Oracle's action shocked many in the Free software world, but Dennis Howlett was not surprised (neither was James Gosling).

Oracle’s patent suit against Google seems to have taken many by surprise. I’m neither surprised nor stunned. If anything, I am surprised it has taken Oracle this long to saddle up its lawyers.


Florian Müller carries on pushing his point of view into some online journals, pretending to be a FOSS representative and mass-mailing many journalists, still. His spin is still actively being challenged by the FFII.

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