en.swpat.org is a wiki.   You can edit it.   May contain statements End Software Patents does not endorse.

November 2014: About Microsoft’s patent licence for .NET core

SitemapCountriesWhy abolish?Law proposalsStudiesCase lawPatent office case lawLawsuits

Difference between revisions of "Oracle v. Google (2010, USA)"

From en.swpat.org
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Does the grant in the Java Lanugage Specification help?: typo)
m (6,910,205 / 2002)
Line 172: Line 172:
This are just-in-time-compilers. They do all of this and much more much better. "October 25, 1996 Sun announces first Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler for Java platform"
These are just-in-time-compilers. They do all of this and much more much better. "October 25, 1996 Sun announces first Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler for Java platform"
=== 6,061,520 / 1998 ===
=== 6,061,520 / 1998 ===

Revision as of 07:59, 13 August 2010

In August 2010, Oracle filed a lawsuit (PDF) against Google for "developing Android".[1] The suit claims infringement of software patents related to the Java programming language distributed on Google's Android software. The lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Oracle acquired Java when they purchased Sun.


The patents

Oracle claims that Google infringes these seven patents granted by the USPTO:

  • 6,125,447 - Protection Domains To Provide Security In A Computer System
  • 6,192,476 - Controlling Access To A Resource
  • 5,966,702 - Method And Apparatus For Preprocessing And Packaging Class Files
  • 7,426,720 - System And Method For Dynamic Preloading Of Classes Through Memory Space Cloning Of A Master Runtime System Process
  • RE38,104 - Method And Apparatus For Resolving Data References In Generate Code
  • 6,910,205 - Interpreting Functions Utilizing A Hybrid Of Virtual And Native Machine Instructions
  • 6,061,520 - Method And System for Performing Static Initialization

Does Java being distributed under GPL v2 help?

Publishing something under the GPL version 2 gives users in the USA an implied patent licence. (Distributing under v3 would be better since it has an explicit patent grant.)

No, because Google reimplemented the JRE rather than using OpenJDK.

Does the grant in the Java Language Specification help?

As suggested by Bruce Perens, Oracle's position may be weakened by this grant in the Java Lanugage Specification:[2]

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (SUN) hereby grants to you a fully paid, nonexclusive, nontransferable, perpetual, worldwide limited license (without the right to sublicense) under SUN's intellectual property rights that are essential to practice this specification. This license allows and is limited to the creation and distribution of clean room implementations of this specification that:
(i) include a complete implementation of the current version of this specification without subsetting or supersetting;
(ii) implement all the interfaces and functionality of the required packages of the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, as defined by SUN, without subsetting or supersetting;
(iii) do not add any additional packages, classes, or interfaces to the java.* or javax.* packages or their subpackages;
(iv) pass all test suites relating to the most recent published version of the specification of the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, that are available from SUN six (6) months prior to any beta release of the clean room implementation or upgrade thereto;
(v) do not derive from SUN source code or binary materials; and
(vi) do not include any SUN source code or binary materials without an appropriate and separate license from SUN.

Searching for prior art

What follows is a short association to each patent where I already heard of it (so like 10 minutes / patent .. something the patent office obviously wasn't able to do .. )

Maybe these can be invalidated in a review.

6,125,447 / 1997

1. A method for providing security, the method comprising the steps of:

establishing one or more protection domains, wherein a protection domain
is associated with zero or more permissions;

establishing an association between said one or more protection domains
and one or more classes of one or more objects; and

determining whether an action requested by a particular object is
permitted based on said association between said one or more protection
domains and said one or more classes.

Prior art: This is C++ private / protected.

No, those apply at the level of individual members - not classes.

C++ (pronounced see plus plus) is a statically typed, free-form,
multi-paradigm, compiled, general-purpose programming language. It is
regarded as a "middle-level" language, as it comprises a combination of
both high-level and low-level language features.[2] It was developed by
Bjarne Stroustrup starting in 1979 at Bell Labs as an enhancement to the
C programming language and originally named C with Classes. It was
renamed C++ in 1983.[3]

I would guess KeyKOS and its capability system would apply. See e.g. http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~KeyKOS/OSRpaper.html That puts prior art in 1985.

6,192,476 / 1997

1. A method for providing security, the method comprising the steps of:

detecting when a request for an action is made by a principal; and

in response to detecting the request, determining whether said action is
authorized based on permissions associated with a plurality of routines
in a calling hierarchy associated with said principal, wherein said
permissions are associated with said plurality of routines based on a
first association between protection domains and permissions.

Sounds like Access Control Lists (ACLs), for example documented within POSIX.1e.

This is based on the call stack, not user ID.

5,966,702 / 1997

1. A method of pre-processing class files comprising:

determining plurality of duplicated elements in a plurality of class files;

forming a shared table comprising said plurality of duplicated elements;

removing said duplicated elements from said plurality of class files to
obtain a plurality of reduced class files; and

forming a multi-class file comprising said plurality of reduced class
files and said shared table

This one is easy: select distinct count(*) from xyz-table;

This is very old SQL-92. (so a public standard published in 1992).

Irrelevant; this is not a database. Conventional linkers might be relevant prior art.

Sounds like linking of weak symbols? For how long has GNU ld/GCC supported this feature? A draft of the early System V ABI specification mentions weak symbols, but is from 1998: Symbol Table. I guess other Unixes had that feature much earlier?

7,426,720 / 2003

1. A system for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space
cloning of a master runtime system process, comprising: A processor; A
memory a class preloader to obtain a representation of at least one
class from a source definition provided as object-oriented program code;
a master runtime system process to interpret and to instantiate the
representation as a class definition in a memory space of the master
runtime system process; a runtime environment to clone the memory space
as a child runtime system process responsive to a process request and to
execute the child runtime system process; and a copy-on-write process
cloning mechanism to instantiate the child runtime system process by
copying references to the memory space of the master runtime system
process into a separate memory space for the child runtime system
process, and to defer copying of the memory space of the master runtime
system process until the child runtime system process needs to modify
the referenced memory space of the master runtime system process.

This is simple copy-on-write memory process management, for example used and programmed already in early publicly available Linux kernels. (I remember that version 2.2 already had it, published 1999, but probably older versions also had it).

RE38,104 / 1999

1. In a computer system comprising a program in source code form, a
method for generating executable code for said program and resolving
data references in said generated code, said method comprising the steps
of: a) generating executable code in intermediate form for said program
in source code form with data references being made in said generated
code on a symbolic basis, said generated code comprising a plurality of
instructions of said computer system; b) interpreting said instructions,
one at a time, in accordance to a program execution control; c)
resolving said symbolic references to corresponding numeric references,
replacing said symbolic references with their corresponding numeric
references, and continuing interpretation without advancing program
execution, as said symbolic references are encountered while said
instructions are being interpreted; and d) obtaining data in accordance
to said numeric references, and continuing interpretation after
advancing program execution, as said numeric references are encountered
while said instruction are being interpreted; said steps b) through d)
being performed iteratively and interleaving..]. .[.

This is simply dynamic shared library loading and usage, also well known an understood in the science of informatics since the early 80s. For evidence you could also look at Linux Kernel version 2.0 published 1996.

6,910,205 / 2002

1. In a computer system, a method for increasing the execution speed of
virtual machine instructions at runtime, the method comprising:
receiving a first virtual machine instruction; generating, at runtime, a
new virtual machine instruction that represents or references one or
more native instructions that can be executed instead of said first
virtual machine instruction; and executing said new virtual machine
instruction instead of said first virtual machine instruction.

These are just-in-time-compilers. They do all of this and much more much better. "October 25, 1996 Sun announces first Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler for Java platform"

6,061,520 / 1998

1. A method in a data processing system for statically initializing an
array, comprising the steps of:

compiling source code containing the array with static values to
generate a class file with a clinit method containing byte codes to
statically initialize the array to the static values;

receiving the class file into a preloader;

simulating execution of the byte codes of the clinit method against a
memory without executing the byte codes to identify the static
initialization of the array by the preloader;

storing into an output file an instruction requesting the static
initialization of the array; and

interpreting the instruction by a virtual machine to perform the static
initialization of the array.

Ok, this one sounds like crap. It's so specialiced, that it probably can't at all be rebuild by anyone and google could have never used this if sun hadn't open sourced java an released under the GPL itself ..

Related pages on en.swpat.org

External links

News from 13 Aug 2010



  1. "Oracle Files Complaint Against Google for Patent and Copyright Infringement". http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Oracle-Files-Complaint-Against-Google-for-Patent-and-Copyright-Infringement-NASDAQ-ORCL-1304265.htm. "In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement" 
  2. http://perens.com/blog/d/2010/8/13/32/

This wiki is part of the End Software Patents (ESP) campaign (donate). For more information, see:
>> endsoftwarepatents.org (Main ESP website) <<
>> endsoftwarepatents.org/news (News) <<

This wiki is publicly editable. (See: en.swpat.org:About) It's a pool of information, not a statement of ESP's views or policies, so no permission is required. Add your knowledge! (See: Help:How to make a good contribution)