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Oracle says Google throwing Android users 'under the bus'

updated 01:30 pm EST, Wed February 9, 2011

Oracle accuses Google of deceiving users

Oracle in a memo sent to a District of Northern California court accused Google of directly deceiving Android users. The statement argued not only that Google's objections were unnecessarily prolonging the case but that it was misleading those running Android just what was involved. It implied that Google was either not ready to take legal responsibility for who owned Android patents or that it was simply hoping open-source exempted it from any fault if a phone designer or a user violated the patents.

"Google now wants to throw its licensees and users under the bus, and feign ignorance of the uses to which its creation is being put," Oracle said.

The accusation is in step with Oracle's rhetoric, where it has insisted that Google knowingly took or copied Java code once developed by Sun but owned by Oracle after a corporate takeover.

Google has not only rejected the notion but, in a February 2 response, complained that Oracle hadn't given the "requisite notice and particulars" that would suggest it was violating a patent. Oracle didn't identify the specific moments or particular companies that were infringing, Google said. It instead argued that Oracle had tried to foist all the burden of proof on Google to be aware of what every single company using Android might have done.

Oracle is believed to have used this request as a pretext for its accusations this week and has argued not just that its claims were enough but that Google's trademark on Android made it automatically responsible for how its OS was used. Google was reportedly fully aware of this as it not only prohibited anyone from using the Android trademark without a compatibility check but explicitly forbade them from modifying certain parts of Android, including the Java components.

It's suspected that Oracle's aim with its charges is to consolidate its legal action and target Google directly rather than have to chase individual manufacturers. As most companies are using the code, it would have to either launch many other lawsuits or get them involved in the existing case. Google in turn may be hoping to make the lawsuit either too difficult to pursue or else to invalidate it entirely. [via Florian Mueller]

by MacNN Staff



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