From the ‘Bigger fish to Fry’ files:
Oracle’s patent claims against Google’s use of Java in Android have been defeated in a California courtroom jury trial. It’s a victory for Google. It’s a victory for Android and it’s a victory for the open source model.
But it’s not the end of the fight.
For one, Oracle will appeal. The other issue, is that Oracle really isn’t the only patent pariah out to get Android. There is still Microsoft.
Oracle’s Samurai CEO Larry Ellison elected to go with the full frontal assault against Google in a fair courtroom fight. Google responded in kind to give us a real stand-up out front contest.
With Microsoft there is no such justice or fairness.
Microsoft has solicited every major Android vendor and claimed that there is alleged patent infringement in Android that violates Microsoft IP. Microsoft has never brought its claims to trial, there has never been a fair fight. Microsoft’s route is far more insidious, taking money from Android without ever actually proving a claim.
Now that Oracle has been defeated once, Microsoft should be plenty worried. Then again, Microsoft doesn’t settle in courtrooms.
Still, wouldn’t it be great if Google could get Microsoft into a court of law to force them to prove their allegations? That would serve the Android (and open source) ecosystem well as the FUD that Microsoft continues to allege could finally be put to rest.
That’s not likely to happen though. Oracle, for all of its stupidity in the Android trial, to its credit did see their case through, they followed through and didn’t rely on FUD alone. Google correctly challenged them and that’s why we have a result today.
When it comes to patents, personally I prefer the courtroom model if there needs to be a dispute. It’s expensive, but it puts all the cards on the table and exposes the fallacy on inane arguments for public ridicule.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.