Brash Android Emails Could Prove Very Costly For Google

Who needs a "a hostile, organised campaign" to hamper Android? Google's own internal documents, now seemingly pivotal in its intellectual property court case with Oracle, are doing the job quite well already.

One such document, referred to as the "Lindholm Draft" after the engineer who created it, reads:

"What we've actually been asked to do (by Larry [Page]and Sergey [Brin] ) is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome. We've been over a bunch of these, and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a licence for Java under the terms we need."

It was written last year and has taken on a tone of great importance for Judge Alsup, who commented in an earlier hearing that an accomplished lawyer would need only that document "and the Magna Carta" to win the case and prove "willful infringement." What's that mean? Well, not only would it make the whole "everyone is out to get us with patents" argument Google made the other day completely laughable, it would also mean tripling the already steep billion-dollar-plus damages demanded by Oracle.

Another document, nearly five years old, could prove to be the email double team Oracle's lawyers need to really stick it to Google and Android. Written by Android founder Andy Rubin, the email basically adopts a "let's infringe Java and see what happens" attitude. Such an attitude would have been very beneficial for Google and the Android team, Mueller notes, because so much code and development work had already been completed using Java at that time. A move to .NET/C# would have been incredibly costly and time-consuming, and from the looks of things Rubin and company had decided that the speedier, riskier approach was the more beneficial one.

Taken together with the Lindholm message, this would suggest that the other platforms didn't necessarily "suck" because they were inferior, they "sucked" because Google didn't want to derail development and start anew.

Google, unsurprisingly, has moved to surpress this evidence from trial. [FOSS Patents]



    Ouch!!! And Google busy stressing about Microsoft and Apple...

    Jack Loftus loves to shelve apples

    I know Android is the top mobile platform right now but I dont see it being around for much longer. Not without some serious drastic changes.
    Everything Android is getting their arses sued off them.

    I'm not sure your dismissal of Android is yet warranted. Microsoft was sued by no less than the Justice Dept and several other governments, and they are still around doing well. True, they are not the power they once were, but they are pulling in record revenues.

    That much said, I do hope that a little more parity in the marketplace would come of it. Seeing a 1/3 split between iOS, Android, and WinPhone 7 wouldn't be a bad thing by most accounts.

      You can hardly blame Google for Android being so popular, it obviously has something that users want... Did you stop to consider that if MS and Apple want their mobile OS's to be more popular they have some ground to make up? Give people what they want instead of the typical Apple move and decide what people want... "Surely people don't want to send MMS's"... "Surely people don't want a front facing camera"... stop deciding what people want and let them have what they want!

    The same judge also laughed at the "billion dollar" claims of Oracle, suggesting that $100m would be more accurate, although it does get tripled if patents are willfully infringed. This memo is years after that moment. One more thing to note, in my opinion: Oracle will make a lot more money from licence fees on a healthy Android, not a dead Android. So unlike other trouble Android is in, in this case there is some kind of mutual interest in Android. Assuming that these patents survive, of course. Google must be assuming they won't, otherwise I'd guess they'd settle now.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now