Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Google files

The current milestone in the Google-Oracle debacle has been reported this week to hing around two e-mails, one dating back to 2005 and the other a draft of an e-mail possibly constructed after Oracle's patent claim expressing a need to negotiate a licence for Java.

Whilst the first of these e-mails discusses strategies for what to do "If Sun doesn't want to work with [Google]", if will be interesting to see how much this weight carries in light of the subsequent 2007 blog posting in which Sun's CEO apparently praises and supports Google for their use of Java technology in Android.

The scond, apparently only a draft of an e-mail, but slightly dammingly indicating "We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need." poses other interesting questions. How admissible as evidence is a draft of an e-mail reported to never have actually been sent? And if it is established that this draft was composed after Oracle first raised its case (from the reports I've seen, the timing still does not appear clear), how damming is an e-mail saying "we need to negotiate a license" if it effectively in response to Oracle saying "You need a license".

I'm not a lawyer, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I would still be interested to see a re-examination of the actual patents in question. As I've expressed before, my opinion of at least some of these is that they appear to essentially be fancy verbiage to describe procedures that are inherently obvious to an expert in the field, with little in the way of an actual invention.

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