As for predictions, I’ll make only one: whoever wins will also lose. This suit is going to negatively impact -- probably substantially -- Java adoption. The enterprise technology landscape is more fragmented by the day, as it transitions from .NET or Java orthodoxy to multi-language heterogeneity. Oracle’s suit will accelerate this process as it introduces for the first time legal uncertainty around the Java platform. Apple and Microsoft will be thrilled by this development, and scores of competitive languages and platforms are likely to see improved traction as a result of Java defections.
Of course, the other, even bigger, question, is: who has the law on their side as far as the facts of the case are concerned? Even if I were a lawyer, I wouldn't hazard a guess, since this particular case seems to be a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma: there are so many interacting and conflicting aspects that it makes second-guessing what a court will find -- assuming it gets that far -- particularly unrewarding.
Instead, I'd like to note Google's response to the suit:
We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit. The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place. We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform.
It will not have escaped your notice that the phrase “open source” is used no less than three times in one short paragraph. In other words, Google wants this framed as nice, open Google attacked by nasty, closed Oracle.
It's rather unfortunate for Google that this comes hard on the heels of its widely-criticised move away from Net neutrality - effectively part of the Internet's openness - which rather dimmed its halo. Indeed, it's hard not to suspect that Oracle seized that misstep in order to attack Google when it was uncharacteristically unloved by much of the open source world. Still, Oracle's threat is probably serious enough for most hackers to give Google the benefit of the doubt as far as its free software credentials are concerned.
Similarly, there seems little doubt that Google was being quite opportunist in the way that it implemented Android, guessing that Sun wouldn't complain about Google's cheeky approach of writing its own “clean room” “Dalvik” virtual machine (although, as Andy Updegrove points out, a clean room implementation won't in itself protect Google against claims of software patent infringement) rather than paying to use the official one.