By now you've read that Oracle has sued Google for patent and copyright infringement related to the Android platform. Google has responded that the claims are baseless and counter to the open source community movement. In all the hullabaloo, the press, pundits, Oracle, and Google seem to have ignored the impact on enterprise Java.
Here's why IT decision-makers shouldn't ignore the enterprise Java impact.
[ InfoWorld's Neil McAllister makes the case how Oracle's suit against Google could help Java. InfoWorld's Martin Heller makes the case for why the Oracle-Google suit is bad for open source. | Keep up with the latest open source trends and news in InfoWorld's Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]
Oracle's Java ME revenue stream
InfoWorld's Neil McAllister summarizes the Oracle v. Google legal situation nicely:
At issue is Dalvik, the unique, Java-based runtime at the heart of Google's Android smartphone OS. Oracle, which gained stewardship of the Java platform when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2009, claims Dalvik knowingly, willfully, and deliberately infringes on Java intellectual property. According to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco last week, Oracle is seeking a halt to any further Android development, destruction of all infringing Android software, and for Google to pay damages, both actual and statutory.
Freelance journalist Tim Anderson asks an interesting question: "Apple, not Android, is killing client-side Java -- so why is Oracle suing Google?"
The simple answer: Java licensing.
With Google claiming 200,000 Android device activations daily, it's plausible, as IDC and others have suggested, that Oracle is simply trying to get a piece of the Android revenue stream. Android is surely limiting Oracle's revenue potential from licensing Java Micro Edition (Java ME) to device manufacturers, as Android has essentialy displaced Java ME on smartphones.