Verdict - Google Did Not Infringe Oracle Patents, No Damages For Oracle

Original Source:

Amusingly, Linus Torvalds writes on his Google+ blog;-

Original source;

Fingers still crossed on that part :slight_smile:

Again, read the full Muktware article here:

Further reading … Groklaw:

Short and sweet … but I suppose if the ‘Mountain View Crew’ jumped up and down and called Oracle a bunch of tossers, or mooned Larry Ellison out of the Google bus window on the way home from court … it wouldn’t look too good at the inevitable appeal that Linus predicts :slight_smile:

There is one fence and has two sides.

On one site of the fence is a cliff.

M$ have been on that side for quite some time and have been gradually losing their grip, but Oracle however have tried to present themselves as being on the other side of the fence, munching grass with all the other animals.

Now it turns out there right there next to M$ … so the question is, “how long can they hold on” … [?!]

When everything else falls away, they have their database … but there are an awful lot of alternatives out there to choose from, many every bit as good as the Oracle crown jewels …

Who else is sick of reading about this company sueing that company over some technology which is used by the whole world regardless of who thought it up?

I am a huge believer in the ideology that ‘human knowledge belongs to the world’ (reference spotters! :stuck_out_tongue: ). So I don’t agree with companies greedily trying to prove they should get all the money. Can’t we all just be happy that the tech is there, I mean some of this stuff is amazing! Think about it, what we can do as a species is just astonishing.

Now I am not a business person in any way, shape or form and I know people say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but surely all these court cases are affecting the companies involved regardless of which side of the fence they are sitting?

Well Oracle have done themselves no favours as far as the open source community are concerned, and though I can’t begin to understand all the implications if they win the API ruling, I would suspect they’ve not done their relationship with programmers any favours either.

If they’re hanging onto a cliff edge by their finger tips … it seems like they’re also handing out toffee hammers.

I agree with Glitch on this. I don’t get why companies can’t work with each other and make a super-technology that’s already better than something they had to start with, instead of sueing this company for that, and another company for this, it’s all very very stupid.

Yes we’re in a recession but for the love of god, patent wars, Co-operative giant wars, technology wars, just stop all of it.

Just stupid, very very stupid. To put it this way, it’s like Apple sueing Samsung for supposedly “copying their API” even though Samsung SUPPLIES Apple with the chipsets, and all the other bits and bobs. I mean really? You sue the supplier for the parts of YOUR product?

It’s very tiresome, and it’s not going to change my opinion on who I get a product from, but it is going to damage their rep.

OK, I’m going to play devils advocate a bit here …

So you’re saying if I write a book, and the guy I buy my groceries from copies it … that’s OK, and I shouldn’t complain ?

It’s not that patents and copyright shouldn’t exist … more the way patents (specially in software) are too general in nature … ie. someone patents an “idea” like using your finger to scroll a webpage on a touch screen … it’s an obvious method, and too general in nature, there’s no way that someone else wouldn’t have come up with the same idea, so it should be irrelevant who came up with it first, or who patented it first.

In other word … don’t COPY my book, but yes, you can write A BOOK … the idea of a book shouldn’t be patentable, the EXACT content if original SHOULD be copywriteable.

Maybe a bit overly simplistic …

In this case, Oracle didn’t even come up with the “idea”, they bought it in the knowledge it was already being used by others … IMHO a simple troll that they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with … It’s my understanding that patents and copyright were originally thought up to protect original ideas and works, not to stifle innovation, or as a business in their own right.

I agree Mark. If someone wrote a book no one else should copy it, at least to the point of copying and claiming they wrote the original. I believe people should copy books/films/music and spread it, just don’t take credit for it.

It’s true about the idea as well. A crime thriller book… I thought of crime thriller so no one else can write crime thriller… erm I don’t think so.

Things like touch screen technology, does it really matter who thought of it in the long run? Yeah OK the original person(s) should get credit but they should give the technology to the people to take away, mod, use and improve. Like some guy called Linus did with his kernel. He will forever be remembered as Mr. Linux but you don’t see him running around all the distro teams snatching back his baby.

Like BkS said why can’t they just create super technology. OK here is touch screen, this is what we can do with it… what can you guys do? Eventually we’ll be writing on 1mm thick sheet of flexi glass… the iCanSeeThroughYouPad!

Yes that’s what I mean, and I believe that’s why the Creative Commons licenses were made up. To allow people distribute something you thought of, but have certain limitations in place so that you always get credit for being the original person to come up with that content.

Erm, all very socialist/utopian.

Yeah OK the original person(s) should get credit but they should give the technology to the people to take away, mod, use and improve. Like some guy called Linus did with his kernel. He will forever be remembered as Mr. Linux but you don't see him running around all the distro teams snatching back his baby.

Now explain to me who is going to bother making the tech, if they’re not allowed to make money from it before allowing others to copy it.

Not everyone is Linus … people need to make a living … and it yet remains to be seen if he’s remembered as the guy who gave something away, not realising its worth … Linus did the world a favour whilst at Uni, and as it works out, he’s benefited from doing so anyway … but do you really expect corporations with employees to pay to give away the family silver ? … I certainly wouldn’t work for them if they did, kinda pointless as they won’t exist tomorrow.

People and companies SHOULD be allowed to copyright their works, and should NOT have to give away original ideas … as long as those idea/works are CLEARLY defined, and it would have been unlikely that someone e else wouldn’t have arrived at the same solution.

I do not suggest copyright/patents are a bad thing, if applied correctly … in a capitalist society, without their protection … why bother.

Would you think it fine if you came up with a new technology, spent your savings marketing it, just to have ASDA copy it ?

it’s the broad ranging scope of some of the patents the USPO hands out that I object to … and beyond copyright, find patents hard to apply to software.

Yeah OK I understand people need to get paid but we also know that it is possible, look at all the people that develop the various Linux distros. You can buy the DVD’s of the distros and you can pay for support. Obviously I have no idea how much they get paid or if they work second jobs etc.

It is a hard one to discuss because you can’t have the extreme of either end but it’s tough to find a balance in the middle.

I will try to give you an example of how giving your product away for free makes you money… to an extent.

A long time ago I bought a book entitled Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. I’d heard of him through the Open Rights Group (ORG) and Electronic Frountier Foundation (EFF) but didn’t really know he’d written any novels. Anyway I loved the book and found out that you can download/read his novels online for free, straight off his website. Since reading Little Brother (which is awaesome by the way) I have told lots of people about him and they have gone out and either read his stuff online and/or bought his books in shops. I have also bought a few more of his books and his graphic novel but I’ve also downloaded his stuff as well.

I happened to stumble across his novel but by my friends being able to access his products for free I spread the knowledge and he has made some money off me. If that makes sense.

I totally see what you are saying though and I don’t disagree at all. I would say that I feel a lot of these big companies charge a little too much for their product. I know when the MoD buy contracts we get ‘rinsed’ as the kids say.

I don’t know… I love the Creative Commons ideology and the Freedom of Thought/Speech/Knowledge but I also realise money will always be an issue.

Does any of that make sense? I’m pretty tired!!


Craphound < Croy Doctorow’s website



Creative Commons

a) I don’t think your author is giving his works away free, as much as hoping they will be seen as samplers, and advertising for other purchases.

b) it’s a personal choice of his, that doesn’t involve employees livelihoods.

c) Nowadays most tech is a collaborative work of employees … so who has the right to give away their livelihoods.

d) Linux is totally different … it was developed slowly and collaboratively, but with few peoples livelihood on the line … and any corporate input was definitely done with a view to monetising.

e) FOSS, is free to you and me … but pretty much always done with a view to monetising … even if it’s just making a name for yourself, or as you say providing support.

But how exactly does a corporation hire a bunch of people to come up with something new, then give the results away ? … so far nobody has made that work … even Redhat and Canonical don’t really give away their Linux distro’s for free … it’s a sampler for their other services.

There is plenty of discussion around the globe about the rights and wrongs of software patents.
As somebody whom have written some code and made software useful for other people, I would welcome the day
when software patents would be abolished.

I would have no problem (should this happen) if other people were looking at my software and proceed in creating a similar looking product,
with similar functionality, as long as they have written all the underlying code by themselves (not ripped off my code).

This is where copyright would come in.

Using the above example, should I have patented the functionality of say a “Make me a cup of tea” button on the interface then
that would prevent others of creating not just the button but also the implementation of said functionality.

I have nothing against copyrights but everything against software patents.
The idea of an ‘idea’ to be patentable is beyond comprehension.

Fully agree … that’s why I separated “software” patents, as differing from some other patents … At least that what I was trying to get across.

Though I do get the patenting of “ideas” in other areas, as long as they’re tightly defined, and not an obvious solution to something that has just arrived.

Like someone patents the “cell” idea in mobile phones … so someone else rushes out and patents the microwave mast … kind of thing … an obvious and necessary next step of the original idea.
(probably not the best example, but you get my meaning)

Patents, have gone insane (USPO at fault mainly), but aren’t necessarily a bad idea as long as they’re tightly defined to a method, and not a general idea … the fault lies in the fact that any general idea seems to be patentable these days as long as you have the money.

Like I could go patent the idea of controlling a laptop with your mind … not just my method for doing it … but the whole idea … ridiculous :o
If others can do it without copying my method, they should be able to do so … simply because it’s an obvious way of controlling one if it were possible, there’s nothing original in the idea.

Software is nearly always a solution to an existing technology, rather than a wholly original idea … so the computer may have been patentable (when first invented), but any software since shouldn’t be … it’s consequential to the original idea … but that’s not to say it should be blatantly copied (copyright).
(what I mean is that with software, its nearly impossible to draw a demarcation line of what constitutes an original idea … original code on the other hand is easy, but then all you need is copyright)

A lot of these patent wars are the USPO’s fault for giving out broad ranging patents in the first place, then leaving it up to the courts to work out if they can be upheld … but then there are whole professions milking this messed up system, so what do you expect ::slight_smile:

How’s the old saying go …" Legislators legislate just to justify their existence"

Now replace legislators with patent officers…

That’s it … it’s all over … Google win, Oracle loose.

Judge William Alsup ruled Thursday that the APIs are not copyrightable because they are so basic and fundamental.

“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,” Judge Alsup wrote in his decision. “No holding has ever endorsed such a sweeping proposition.”

Final score … Google 3 - Oracle 0

I bet Oracle wish they’d got a judge that wasn’t also a programmer … EPIC FAIL :wink:

You have to wonder how much that fiasco cost both companies … and how many lawyers became rich on the back of it ::slight_smile:

Full articles here:


and if you want the whole 41 page ruling, here’s the PDF from Groklaw:

I should’ve went to law school…

Well this case was just dumb … and if lawyers had ethics (and understood the subject at hand), they should probably have told Oracle not to bother … but then they wouldn’t have got paid so much would they.

IMHO, greed got the better of both Oracle, and their lawyers … and Oracle have paid for it, the lawyers will get paid any way … lawyers are the only people that win even if they loose.

Something is wrong there … actually I’d call that a conflict of interests … surely their advice to Oracle was affected by the fact they’d get paid even for loosing ???

But at the end of the day, it was Oracle that chose to listen to them, and rolled the dice.

Good for Google, but actually I was more concerned with this:

Judge William Alsup ruled Thursday that the APIs are not copyrightable because they are so basic and fundamental.
It appears that there is still some hope for common sense.

I think the API part of the case was inevitable … the judge was a programmer, so understood the subject.

Lucky, as a layman may not have understood at all.

Lucky, as a layman may not have understood at all.
What I am always moaning about is that the fate of the world is always hinging on some court case in the USA, which then gets applied across the globe. Specially the layman bit is worrying.