The man who invented the Java programming language while working at Sun Microsystems, James Gosling, was hired by Google. This could be considered a surprise since Google is in an active legal battle with Oracle, the company that bought Sun. As a result of the purchase, Oracle owns all of Sun’s patents and they have accused Google for taking portions of the Java source code and using it to build Android.
In his personal blog, Gosling says, “I don’t know what I’ll be working on. I expect it’ll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon.” So why does Google want Gosling? Maybe it is to work with Dalvik, the Java engine that powers Android. He will probably be very useful in getting it to be more efficient, faster, and maybe less prone to future lawsuits.
Since patent RE38,104 (“Method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code”) was invented by Gosling, but is now property of Oracle, it is possible that they could try to stop Google from hiring Gosling. These days it does not take much for any company or individual to start a suit so I would not be surprised if Oracle files something.