For those of you (like me) who feel that the patent issue should have been raised earlier, and that waiting until a product is a success to collect royalties is not correct, I can only point out the NTP suit against RIM (and now just about anyone sending data over wireless) that resulted in a payment of over $600 million.
Oracle has a point here. If Google is using their patent, they must be punished. The difference between America and Africa is that the former has patent laws and firms can profit from inventions. In the latter, good ideas are hobbies because there is not protection for commercialization. Though I do not like Oracle marketing and bully strategy, in this case, they have a point.
It's sad when innovation like Android is attacked by patent holders. One has to wonder how this will affect the adoption of Java in other areas. Now that Oracle has shown their willingness to let technologies come to market and sue after it becomes a successful product, how many others will support Java? Hopefully Oracle will rethink it's position and back down from this lawsuit.
Oracle has a problem, they should have enforced the patent from the beginning. You can not have the community use it and when the product has a financial impact claim that now you want the royalties. Also Sun had proclaimed that "java was an open software, They should have done researches and use due diligence when they purchased Sun.
Google should sue them for unfair business practice and ask the trade commission to force Oracle to desist from using the patent as leverage tool to obtain unfair advantage from what, also, developed by the community.
The patent should be used only to maintain control on the development. Remember Sun vs MS.
What next? MySql?
Understandable move by Oracle. I am not sure they will succeed in getting a licensing deal from Google though. Software is much more difficult to protect than hardware. Also, much of Android is open source as I understand. If that pushes Google to release it completely in the open, that'd be a good outcome of this story IMO. Any thoughts out there?
There's also a lot of commentary and links at both groklaw.net and en.swpat.org/wiki/Oracle_v._Google_(2010,_USA).
IANAL and haven't read the patents, but there seems to be a lot of indications that Oracle's patent claims are covered by prior art and/or obviousness. While they could be used to threaten a small company, a giant like Google that can afford to defend itself could very well invalidate the patents, though at huge expense to both parties. Perhaps shareholder interest would be better served using that money to design products?