Oracle and IBM are teaming up to collaborate on a fully open source version of Java and the move could have major impact on Google’s Android mobile operating system. IBM and Oracle will be collaborate on OpenJDK and this is expected to be where the companies focus its efforts.
InfoWorld has a great breakdown of how this could impact Android, as the apps are written in Java code based on the Harmony project. The Harmony project has deep roots within IBM but those resources could shift over to the new IBM, Oracle collaboration.
Google does contribute to the OpenJDK project but it has been able to allay fears that it’s totally in control of Android by using the implementation from the neutral Apache Foundation. The search giant could devote more of its resources to the Harmony project, it’s speculated.
The move comes as Oracle is suing Google over Java patents in Android. Oracle obtained these patents when it spent about $5 billion to purchase Sun and some have speculated that price tag was so high because it included legal arrows to fire at the wealthy Google.
Google called the charges “baseless” and have asked for the patent lawsuit to be dismissed. Essentially, Google said it does not violated the alleged patents and, even if it did, those patents aren’t valid anyways.
These issues didn’t crop up when Android was first introduced because it wasn’t really a credible money maker at the time. Now that the little, green robot is on a rocket ship to the moon and is already covering its costs, many companies are eying it with dollar signs in its eyes.
This isn’t the only legal battle Android is seeing, as Microsoft and Apple are also suing companies making Android-related smartphones. It’s too soon to tell how this will turn out but most of these patent lawsuits eventually end with some form of licensing deal.