Android code copying evidence lends weight to Oracle suit

Jan 21, 2011
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Evidence that Google directly copied Sun Microsystems code - now owned by Oracle - has been found in multiple Android files, suggesting the Oracle's patent infringement case against the search giant does indeed hold water. IP expert Florian Mueller dug through the evidence and discovered 37 files in Android 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread which were labeled "PROPRIETARY/CONFIDENTIAL" by Sun, and had a copyright notice file saying "DO NOT DISTRIBUTE!"

Meanwhile Mueller has also found several files in Android which appear to have been decompiled from Sun's original java code. Google had originally argued that Oracle omitted copyright headers from certain contentious Java files; now it's alleged the company actually replaced the original proprietary license with a GPL 2 header, even though Oracle may not have given permission.

"Google said in its formal response that Oracle had omitted "copyright headers". That is correct, but now that I have seen two versions of the original file, I don't think that the missing parts are favorable to Google. Actually, the opposite is true. Whether under a proprietary license or the GPL, the related code could not be legally relicensed under the Apache license by anyone other than the right holder (Oracle/Sun)" Florian Mueller

The full versions of the forty-three files in question are available for review, but right now it's not looking good for Google - or, indeed, their carrier partners using Android.


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