Oracle Corp has filed a lawsuit against Google Inc., in the US, alleging patent and copyright infringement in the development of the popular Android smartphone software, which uses portions of Java technology.
Oracle acquired Java through its $5.6 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems earlier this year, and claims Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed its Java-related intellectual property in developing Android.
Google Chief Executive, Eric Schmidt, revealed at a conference earlier this month that about 200,000 smartphones and other devices based on the Android operating system are sold each day. A report by Gartner, published yesterday, also showed that the Android OS overtook Apple’s iPhone OS to become the third most popular OS in the world in the second quarter of this year, and also overtook RIM’s OS to take the number one spot in the US market.
According to Reuters, the suit against Google is seen by analysts as a signal that Oracle intends to be more aggressive in seeking licensees for Java, a technology that is used in many types of Internet-based products.
Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison has said he views the Java software as a key asset, pointing to its use in a variety of electronic devices, from PCs to DVD players.
“Sun’s corporate philosophy was obviously very different from Oracle’s in terms of enforcing the Java patents,” said Edward Reines, an IP litigator at Weil Gotshall who is involved in separate patent litigation against Oracle.
A Google spokesman said he could not comment on the lawsuit as the company had not had a chance to review it yet.