Oracle targets Dalvik VM as Google case continues

Michael Crider - May 8, 2012
Oracle targets Dalvik VM as Google case continues

Though the first portion of the Oracle vs Google case ended on something of a hollow victory for Oracle, the networking giant intends to plow on with its patent claims in the second section. Oracle's attorneys contend that the Dalvik virtual machine used to speed up Android's processes infringes on two of the patents that it inherited from Sun Microsystems after they purchased the company. Damages nad payments, if any are deemed necessary, will be decided in the third portion.

Software patents have become a frustratingly common part of the tech world, and the vague processes for which they can be granted has caused many a headache. Google contends that the two patents in question, which allow Android's various virtual processes to be executed many times faster than would otherwise be possible, are invalid due to overly vague wording or the fact that they don't apply to modern smartphones, and both patents were granted to sun in the 1990s. Both cover systems of programs used to compile and read code faster.

Unlike the copyright portion of the case, Google has no way to claim fair use of patents: it must either convince the jury that the patents were granted in error, or that they don't apply to its current situation. The stakes in the patent portion of the case are much higher, since Oracle could insist upon a n injunction against Android if it emerges victorious. Generally a successful patent infringement plaintiff insists on monetary damages or licensing fees, but Google and Oracle have been unable to come to an agreement thus far. Jury deliberations on the copyright portion of the suit (relatively simple by comparison) took four days, and ended in a deadlocked decision over whether Google's use of Java APIs counted as fair use.

[via Ars Technica - chart via]

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