Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

New Silicon Valley Battle Royale: Oracle Sues Google

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison–fresh from slapping around Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) for ousting CEO Mark Hurd–is aiming his company’s legal guns at another powerhouse.

This afternoon, the database software giant said it was suing Google, alleging patent and copyright infringement of intellectual property related to Java in the development of Android mobile operating system software.

Java is a software programming language and platform created by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle (ORCL) bought this year.

“Sun is now Oracle America and continues to hold all of Sun’s interest, rights, and title to the patents and copyrights at issue in this litigation,” said Oracle in its complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Ironically, before he headed the Silicon Valley search giant, Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt was a key exec at Sun back in the day, guiding the development of Java and actually leading its efforts.

In a short press release, Oracle alleged Google “knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property.”

A Google PR person said the company hadn’t been served, so it declined comment on the complaint until it had a chance to review it.

You can read that complaint here, as well as the actual Oracle statement.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik