According to a report at ZDNet, earlier reports indicating that Google's Android operating system had directly copied code from Oracle/Sun were greatly exaggerated. The controversy was ignited today when an article called out a number of files available in the Android open source repository. These files, the reports said, were exact copies of files that Oracle makes available, but they were not marked as such. Many of them had the Apache license attached instead.
Now that everyone has had some time to digest the news, we see that this is simply a mistake. 7 of the files are part of the unit test tree, and are only a developer tool. These are not shipped with Android and cannot be called part of the OS. An additional ZIP file contained more Oracle files, this time related to an audio chipset driver. This file was added by a user for unknown reasons. It too is not part of Android. In fact, the most recent version of the repository doesn't even have many of these files.
If the original information had panned out, it would have been a big headache for Google in their legal battle with Oracle. The latter company claims their code has been inappropriately included in Android. Do you think there is some shady business going on at Google?
The Associated Free Press didn't say whether or not Dr. Evil was one of the jurors participating in the SAP/Oracle lawsuit, only that the jury has ordered SAP to pay $1.3 BILLION.
SAP was found guilty of stealing customer support documents and software as part of a ploy to siphon customers away from Oracle. Naturally, Oracle has been crying foul over the ordeal, and it certainly didn't help that SAP AG admitted that a subsidiary stole the documents, further fessing up to owing $40 million, though disputing the billion dollar claim.
"For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle's own customers," Oracle co-president Safra Catz said after the verdict.
In the end, the jury sided with Oracle on the valuation of the stolen property. This obviously comes as a blow to SAP, which had set aside $160 million for anticipated damages and already paid $120 million of that sum to Oracle's lawyers, Yahoo News reports.
Now that you are up to speed, let us get back to Google’s response, which is not contrary to what someone of reasonable mental soundness would expect from a company being sued for patent infringement. The internet giant, which had earlier dismissed the suit as “baseless,” has denied pretty much all allegations – of course, except for the harmless ones like the fact that it is a corporation – while citing 20 defenses.
“Google does not infringe any valid and enforceable claim of the Patents-in-Suit, either directly or indirectly, and does not infringe any valid copyright rights of Oracle, either directly or indirectly,” Google wrote in its response.
"Any use in the Android Platform of any protected elements of the works that are the subject of the Asserted Copyrights was made by third parties without the knowledge of Google, and Google is not liable for such use."
The case will go to trial next October if the two parties fail to reach a settlement in the intervening period.
Oracle hasn't been one to shy away from pricey acquisitions, and lest anyone forget that, the firm just announced plans to spend $1 billion in cash acquiring Art Technology Group, a provider of eCommerce software and on-demand commerce optimization applications.
"Driven by the convergence of online and traditional commerce and the need to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty, organizations across many industries are looking for a unified commerce and CRM platform to provide a seamless experience across all commerce channels," said Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President Oracle Development. "Bringing together the complementary technologies and products from Oracle and ATG will enable the delivery of next-generation, unified cross-channel commerce and CRM."
This is Oracle's 10th acquisition so far in 2010, which will bring with it a customer-base of more than 1,000 global enterprises.
Back in August, Oracle joined the list of companies suing Google over various elements of the open source Android operating system. Now the lawsuit has been updated with a claim that Google "directly copied" Oracle's Java code. It looks like Oracle is contending that Google is not just using code that functions in a way that infringed patents, but rather that they took code directly from Oracle (or Sun at the time).
The updated legal documents contain code snippets that Oracle says show copyright infringement. In all, Oracle is claiming that one third of Google's Java APIs are infringing on Oracle's Java API packages. Google has, in the past, called Oracle's claims "baseless".
Oracle also accused Google of violating some Java patents, and that part of the suit remains unaltered. Google hasn't responded to these new claims as of yet. We'll have to wait and see what they have to say to this.
Oracle's chief executive Larry Ellison recently said his company would like to make some acquistions in the technology sector, adding that a microchip company would look mighty fine in Oracle's portfolio. Could AMD be a target? Would the world's No. 2 chip maker even be open to buyout? The answer to both questions is 'maybe.'
"AMD is not for sale, but we are happy to listen to any proposal which is in the interest to our shareholders," chief executive Dirk Meyer said during an industry conference in Barcelona this week.
Shares of AMD haven't exactly been scintillating as of late, but the chip maker hopes to turn that around with the introduction of its Fusion chips, which integrate graphics onto the CPU. The company is also facing increased competition from ARM, though Meyer said he doesn't really view ARM as a threat to its bottom line.
Oracle is accusing memory chip maker Micron of conspiring to fix prices, alleging it overcharged Sun Microsystems for memory parts, Bloomberg reports.
In its complaint, Oracle said Micron and other DRAM makers "conspired to control production capacity, raise prices or slow their decline, allocate customers, and otherwise unlawfully overcharge their DRAM customers." The antitrust complaint was filed earlier this week in federal court in San Jose, California, and also names Hynix, Samsung, Eplida, and Infineon as co-conspirators.
Oracle's basing its complaint in part on a 2002 U.S. Justice Department investigation of memory chip price fixing, which ultimately resulted in four companies and 16 people being fined a total of around $731 million, Oracle claims.
There have been concerns over the future of Sun's open source projects ever since it was acquired by Oracle. But developers of the world's most popular open source productivity suite, Open Office, have decided to take their destiny in their own hands by breaking away to launch the Document Foundation. A productivity suite called "LibreOffice" is now available through the foundation's website.
The Document Foundation has chosen the name LibreOffice, as the trademark "Open Office" is currently owned by Oracle. However, the developers are hoping that “Oracle will donate this to to the Foundation, along with the other assets it holds in trust for the Community, in due course, once legal etc issues are resolved.”
Well, that was a lot of bluster for nothing. Shortly after former HP CEO Mark Hurd accepted a job at Oracle, HP filed suit claiming Hurd would have no choice but to divulge confidential HP information in his new position. Today, the two companies have announced that they've settled their differences out of court, and Hurd would be taking the position at Oracle. However, Hurd will apparently be keeping that secret HP stuff a secret.
The statements from the company were the usual sort of glad-handing you see when companies come to a grudging agreement. Details of the settlement were not available, but we'd wager Oracle paid HP a pittance, and HP agreed not to pursue that un-enforceable non-compete clause. Despite their positions as competitors in corporate IT, the two companies have worked together extensively to serve their shared customers.
What do you think went on behind closed doors? Did anyone come out ahead in this deal?
Hewlett-Packard, which recently trumped Dell in a fierce bidding war for data storage company 3PAR, is now said to have cybersecurity firm ArcSight in its sights. According to a Wall Street Journal report, citing anonymous sources, a deal could be announced as early as Monday. The report suggests that the deal could be worth around $1.5 billion, but that is just speculation. The Journal had earlier identified HP, Oracle and IBM as potential suitors for the the Cupertino-based enterprise security management company that boasts more than 1,000 customers around the world.