Sunday, January 23, 2011

Florian Mueller on Android Patent Case

The blogs are all abuzz this morning on this blog posting by renown software patent expert and campaigner Florian Müller. The standard statement seems to be that his findings seriously weaken Google's defence against Oracle's patent claims over Android's Dalvik not-really-a-jvm jvm.

Müller himself doesn't seem to go that far. My reading of his blog posting is that what he has done is compare a number of source files and shown that Google's source files appear to be direct copies of Sun Java source files that were not  released by Sun / Oracle under an open source license that permits Google's use or relicensing. He also reports that it looks like someone has attempted to disguise this copying.

Oracle are suing Google over both patent and copyright for Android.  The facts  Müller reported would certainly have a bearing on the copyright claims. I can't see where Müller makes claims that his analysis could be directly relevant to the patent claim.

Update (23 Jan 2011 16:34 NZT)

Müller's analysis isn't uncontested. ZD Net blogger Ed Burnette has posted disputing the importance of the file copying Müller reported.  While fellow ZD Net blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has updated his earlier posting to include a rebuttal from Android Central.

Meanwhile Müller through his twitter page @FOSSpatents has said that he he intends to post a follow-up article addressing points made by these articles. I'm not sure which of the articles he was referring to when he said "That article attacks strawmen put up by its author, and contains factual errors"

This looks like there is more to be said by both sides of the argument.

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