Oracle has launched a lawsuit against Google over alleged unauthorised use of the Java programming language.
The firm’s complaint reads: "Google’s Android competes with Oracle America’s Java as an operating system software platform for cellular telephones and other mobile devices."
Oracle gained Java when it completed a $5.6 billion acquisition of Sun, allowing a lengthy anti trust investigation in Europe. Google’s open source Android operating system makes extensive use of Java with all developers writing applications in the Java language.
Android applications are then translated to a "bytecode" which runs on a Google-developed Dalvik virtual machine with just-in-time compiling technology. Google wrote the implementation of the Dalvik virtual machine which implies that Oracle is being sufficiently aggressive with the patents it holds relating to Java that it’s now willing to go after third party implementations of Java, of which there are many.
It had previously been widely assumed that a cross patent licensing agreement existed between Sun, the original developer of Java, and Google. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, was formerly himself the CEO of Sun.
The company possessed a very large number of software patents but distributed Java under free open source agreements in order foster wider adoption of the cross-platform language and virtual machine technology.
Google said that it was unable to comment on the news as it had yet to see details of the complaint.