CyberTech Rambler

August 14, 2010

SCOracle?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:53 pm

I like Joe Cheng’s comparison of Oracle to SCO. So is Brian Profitt’s “consistently contradictory“. Nothing like a good lawsuit that irks a lot of people to bring out the wordsmith in us.

Bottom line here is Oracle suing Google over Dvalik VM (used in Android), accusing it of infringing on Java’s patent.

Surprisingly, besides Groklaw’s excellent coverage, Miquel de Icaza’s is very good as well. However, I think he and I has to disagree that Google would be better off using Mono and .NET platform. That would be like basing Andriod on OpenSolaris. [Not the dying part, but the fact that one is forced to play the catch up game eternally.

I like the tidbit from James Gosling about Oracle’s lawyers’ eyes sparkle when they question Sun’s engineers about Google during the acquisition phase. This tells us one thing: Google sees it coming.

Perhaps Google was depending partly on Sun’s DNA which does not like filing lawsuit unless it is absolutely necessary. But once Google heard that Oracle got SUN, it knows its days are numbered. What made this lawsuit interesting is Google had long planned for this day. It will give us a glimpse into how companies with fat pocket deals with the patent threat. I hope PJ covers this on Groklaw. SCO gave us the course 101 on IP litigation, this case might give us the follow on course 201.

Like Updegrove, I think this is about money. SUN is always said to be bad at commercializing its asset. For Oracle, the opposite is true: It is not only good at commercializing its own asset, it also tries to commercialize non-asset too (Unbreakable Linux anyone?).

Looking into my crystal ball, I  think the likely scenario is Google and Oracle signs a patent pact to make this goes away. So small modifications to the Dvalik VM will happen regardless of whether the lawsuit is settled or not. Settling the case is meant to buy time for Google to modify the VM  to its liking. Google will not like to base something that looks to be fulfilling its potential as Google’s second crown jewels after many false starts on someone else’s technology. If it goes to trial, as issues with individual patents become clearer, it is only in Google’s interest to steer away from the controversial patents while it can.

Unlike SCO, SCOracle is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

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