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12 November 2010, 15:40

Oracle vs. Google: Google accuses Oracle of manipulating the evidence

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It has taken around two weeks for Google to respond to Oracle's accusation that Google directly copied code from Oracle's Java and incorporated it into Android. In a document presented to the court handling the case, Google denies having directly copied code. Oracle took Google to court in August, alleging that the Java code used in Android's Dalvik Virtual Machine violated Oracle patents and copyrights. At the end of October, Oracle revealed line for line which code Google allegedly copied. Oracle charged that nearly a third of the Android APIs were derivatives of Oracle's Java APIs.

In the document recently presented, Google says it did not violate any rights and cannot be held liable by Oracle for any such violations. Google also says that the evidence produced by Oracle does not represent legitimate, correct copies of class files either from Android or from Oracle's Java. Furthermore, Google charges that Oracle revised or deleted essential passages of the evidence in its own favour. Google says that these omissions are "significant elements and features."

Google has also taken a new position by saying that even if it can be shown that Android does violate Oracle's Java rights, Google is not responsible for the violation of those rights. Google says that any problems that may have arisen are due to the third-party use of Android and therefore any responsibility for copyright or patent violation lies with those third parties. In other words, Google does not believe it is liable for any use of protected elements in the Android platform made by third parties, and these third parties acted without the knowledge of Google.

Google points out that Android is being developed by the Open Handset Alliance, an association of technology and mobile firms founded in 2007 (of which, Google happens to be a member), and not directly by Google. Aside from the libraries of the Apache Harmony free Java implementation, Google says Android is being developed independently by the OHA, and that the OHA makes Android, including the Dalvik VM and the Android Software Development Kit (Android SDK) openly and freely available. The Apache Software Foundation recently said that the code passages cited by Oracle are not from the Harmony project.

When Oracle first pressed these charges, Google said it stood accused as an advocate of the Java open source community. At the beginning of October, Google once again denied any patent violations. Google also accused Oracle of violating its own open source strategy with the charges and has asked the court to declare the patents in question to be invalid.


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