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Another day, another patent war

Oracle and Google face off in court today in a lawsuit over the use of Java.

Bob Moon: Another day another patent lawsuit. Oracle and Google face-off today in Federal Court in San Francisco. Oracle claims Google's Android system is infringing on patent and copyrights for Oracle's Java technology.

Marketplace's Queena Kim reports on what's at stake.


Queena Kim: After seven years of legal battles, it’s up to a jury now.

Colleen Chien says that technology used to be a gentleman’s game. She’s an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University.

Colleen Chien: For many years, companies had an understanding that they wouldn't sue each other but now they’re finding it strategically advantages to go forward.

That’s because patents can be worth a lot of money and cripple the competition. Google’s Android is on hundreds of millions of phones and tablets.

Josh Olson is an analyst at Edward Jones and he says, Oracle’s been struggling to make money off its 2009 acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Sun created Java.

Josh Olson: Google represents potentially one of the most lucrative litigation targets with the Android operating system.

Olson says if Oracle wins against Google, it could spark a series of patent suits against other companies. Java’s used in more than a billion phones and tablets.

For Marketplace, I’m Queena Kim.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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