Looks like Google might be in the hot seat again because competitors filed a new antitrust complaint against them in the EU alleging that the Android OS gives an unfair advantage for Google apps. The complaint was filed by Fairsearch Europe, which consists Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle. Lead lawyer for Fairsearch said that Google is using Android “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today,” He is referring to the fact that Android OEM’s have a contractual obligation to place Google-branded apps such as Maps, YouTube, and Drive in “prominent default placement on the phone.”
Remember when Oracle attempted to sue Google due to “supposed” patent infringements that were coded into Android? Google came out on top in that case when the judge ruled in favor for the search giant. Shortly after, we reported that one of the conditions Judge Williams Alsup set for Oracle for filing the case against Google was that Oracle would have to provide for Google’s legal fees if they were to lose the case. We initially reported that the dollar amount could be as high as $300,000, but now it appears that Google thinks it’s much more than that and are now demanding upwards of a cool $4 million. According to Google, “$2.9 million was spent for organization of copied court-necessary documents, $143,341 for transcript services, and $986,978 for compensation of the court-appointed experts.”
Oracle is expected to contest the supposed $4 million that Google is seeking. Obviously, $4 million is just pocket change for the search giant, but I’m sure it’s the principle of it that Google is after. Perhaps it’s a message Google is sending to anyone else that even thinks about attempting to sue them.
Oracle has received another slap in the face as a result of its fight with Google over Java and Android. Judge William Alsup set as one of the conditions for filing the case against Google, that Oracle had to pay Google’s legal fees if they lost. This was intended as a deterrent to avoid wasting the court’s time.
It looks like this was forward thinking on the part of the judge since Oracle lost the case and is now strapped with paying what is believed to be upwards of $300,000, the result of being dragged through the courts multiple times.
Oracle has its sights set on a new target now that it quickly found it was no match for Google. It has decided to go after patent troll and bully Lodsys by seeking invalidation of four of Lodsys’ patents. Here’s the quick rundown of Lodsys: the company has been harassing developers of all types for the last few years by either suing them or offering quick and
demeaning small settlements. Developers generally figured it would be easier to settle, rather than go out through a costly and exhausting legal battle. However, the same developers who were bullied eventually went to Google and asked for some help regarding this. Google filed a report for reexamination back in August 2011 seeking to invalidate two specific patents: “078″ and “565″. Generally speaking, if the patents were found invalid, then Lodsys would have no patents and thus, nothing to sue for. The catch to this process is it takes an incredibly long time to go through the process and both Lodsys as well as developers almost always settle before the process is complete.
So what does this have to do with Oracle? Well there is the notion that Oracle is trying to make a few things right away since it lost to Google. You see, like Google-based developers, Oracle developers have also been sued by Lodsys in the past. Seeing that it can at least salvage something from the Google loss, Oracle has decided to sue Lodsys for you guessed it— seeking to invalidate patents. The difference between Oracle’s action against Lodsys and Google’s previous action? Well— this is a lawsuit. This means if Lodsys is found guilty, you can bet Lodsys will be liable for any and all damages including legal fees and additional costs.
Ladies and gents, let the next chapter of the lawsuit games begin.
source: Android Police
Last week the jury found that Google didn’t infringe on Oracle’s patents, but there was still a big issue at hand. Were Oracle’s Java API elements copyrightable? Judge William Alsup made the ruling yesterday and he found that the API’s aren’t covered under copyright law so basically this dismisses the previous infringement claims outright. The Judge said the following:
In closing, it is important to step back and take in the breadth of Oracle’s claim. Of the166 Java packages, 129 were not violated in any way. Of the 37 accused, 97 percent of the Android lines were new from Google and the remaining three percent were freely replicable under the merger and names doctrines. Oracle must resort, therefore, to claiming that it owns, by copyright, the exclusive right to any and all possible implementations of the taxonomy-like command structure for the 166 packages and/or any subpart thereof – even though it copyrighted only one implementation. To accept Oracle’s claim would be to allow anyone to copyright one version of code to carry out a system of commands and thereby bar all others from writing their own different versions to carry out all or part of the same commands. No holding has ever endorsed such a sweeping proposition.
At this point Oracle’s only options are to leave it alone or appeal. They most certainly will appeal, but things look dismal. At this point they will only receive $300,000 for statutory damages. We have statements from both Google and Oracle after the break.
Google and Oracle are still going at it pretty strong and even though Page, Schmidt, Ruben and Google in general have been handing Oracle’s rear to them on a platter, quite a number of tidbits have been revealed over the course of the trail. All sorts of factoids have been coming out about the Android OS, which I’m sure Google isn’t ultimately pleased about. However, from a tech journalist’s perspective, it’s flat out juicy news. The latest to be revealed from the trial is a Google patent revealing NFC functionality between Android handsets. The only question here is, could this be referring to Android Beam or something else?
Android has had Beam since at least October of 2011 which isn’t new news, however, the patent revealed other aspects of the technology dubbed “sharing application states”, to work with apps and functions like messaging, phone call status and playback positions for video and audio. So, now that we’ve seen how Android Beam has come into play, could there be something else up Google’s sleeve with the function? We sure hope so. Stay tuned as we dig a little deeper to find out exactly how Google intends to use Beam in any other way other than just transferring items between devices.
Oh how different things could have been. What you’re looking at above is a prototype image of what Google had in mind for the first ever Android phone back in 2006. As the court battle between Google and Oracle wages on, these interesting little titbits are surfacing from the courtroom via some official documents that Google released. It’s definitely interesting to note that the early prototypes resemble a Blackberry far more than an iPhone, perhaps adding some substance to the argument that Google changed its strategy after the success of the original iPhone.
Another interesting story to surface is that Google intended to subsidise a $9.99 unlimited data plan in partnership with T-Mobile as part of the launch strategy. It’s fair to say that HTC’s G1 was certainly an improvement on the original design although I suspect one or two of us would bite Google’s hands off for an unlimited data plan for less than $10!
Would you have bought this back in 2008? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
source : Android and Me
The ongoing battle between Oracle and Google may soon come to an end. While around the middle of February we wrote to you about how Oracle’s case with Google is crumbling around them a U.S. judge has finally scheduled a trial between Oracle and Google and it’s set for April 16th, 2012. The trial is in regards to Oracle’s claims that intellectual property rights relating to Java, a programming language, were violated by the Search Giant. It will take place in San Francisco Federal Court.
Back in 2010 Oracle sued Google over its Android Mobile OS alleging that it infringed on Oracle Java patents. They also slammed Google with copyright infringement claims. As we already told you Oracle withdrew some of these claims as several of these patents were struck down by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office but two remain in the lawsuit according to U.S. District Judge William Alsup.
With a combination of that and the copyright claims Google could lose a huge chunk of dollars running into the hundreds of millions. Oracle declined to comment but Google spokesman Jim Prosser said, ”These patent and copyright claims are without merit, and we look forward to defending against them at trial.”
The case being held in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561. According to Judge Alsup it’s expected to last about eight weeks. So stick with us here at TalkAndroid and we’ll keep you posted as to how it shapes up. Stay tuned!
Recently Oracle made a surprising move in its Java lawsuit with Google by asking the court for a stay of its patent claims for nine months in favor of a near-term copyright trial. What’s most interesting is Oracle’s analysis on Google and the economic impacts of Android.
If you remember, Andy Rubin reported that Android activations are now at 700,000 per day. Oracle made the following statement about that:
“While this case awaits trial, more than 700,000 Android-based devices are activated every day, all fundamentally built around the copyrighted Java APIs and the enhanced performance enabled by Oracle’s patents. Each day’s worth of activations likely generates approximately $10 million in annual mobile advertising revenue for Google.”
There’s no indication of how Oracle came to this conclusion, but for whatever reason, it appears they’re assuming annual revenues of roughly $14 per Android user.
They also went on to say that Android is also important to Google for the growth of its social network Google+, and Android is not as open as everyone thinks.
One other interesting note is they’re predicting that daily Android activations will hit 2.5 million per day within the next twelve months. It will be interesting to see if that goal is met because that is one huge-ass number.
[via foss patents]
You may have never heard of Document 397 of the Oracle V. Google case, but one excerpt from that document is getting quite a lot of attention (per Google):
“Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard.”
Depending on how you interpret it, the quote could mean a couple of different things. On the Oracle side, the quote might be taken like this:
The Android source code is not nearly as open as Google alleges.
Google plays favorites with some OEM’s by giving them access to the “closed” portion of the source code.
The OEM’s return the favor by ensuring their devices are made to Google’s specifications.
If Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility goes through, Google would stop playing favorites and keep all of the “closed” code for use on their own line of phones (thereby giving them an unfair advantage over all other OEM’s).
If you are sitting at Google’s table, the quote can be viewed quite differently:
The statement is true, but it’s in reference to their Nexus program.
“Our Specifications” is in reference to the “stock” Android-only devices that are part of Nexus.
Far from playing favorites, Google has worked with many OEM’s in regards to “giving early access to their software partners”. Examples include HTC (Nexus One), Samsung (Nexus S), and Motorola (Xoom).
None of this was ever hidden. Andy Rubin (Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google) has openly talked about the lead device program in interviews. In addition, the blog announcement for the Nexus S specifically mentioned that the device was co-developed with Samsung.
Regardless of who is correct, there is one aspect of all of this that doesn’t need much interpretation: this one might take a while to get straightened out.
So what do you think? Is the document a smoking gun proving Google didn’t play fair, or is it a statement from the Nexus program taken out of context? Sound off in the comments!