Oracle Corporation is suing Google, claiming that the search giant has infringed a number of its copyrights with its Android smartphone operating system.
Oracle filed the lawsuit in a California federal court earlier this month, with Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman claiming that, in developing Android, Google "knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property."
Tilman added: "this lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies."
Open source confusions
Google's Android operating system uses portions of Java technology, which is supposedly an open-source platform, with the source code available for free to any developer. Google developed its own Java virtual machine for Android.
Oracle purchased Java developers Sun Microsystems earlier this year in a $5.6 billion deal.
"Sun's corporate philosophy was very different from Oracle's in terms of enforcing the Java patents," IP litigator Edward Reines told Reuters.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt previously headed up Java's development when he was CTO at Sun Microsystems in the 1980s and '90s.
"We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit," Google spokesman Aaron Zamost said in a statement.
"The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place."
Mark Driver, an industry analyst at Gartner summed up the case, noting: "Oracle is damned if they do and damned if they don't, so it figured it might as well do and try to get paid.
"There's just tons and tons of potential money in this. But it's bad news for Java regardless of the outcome."