The basics surrounding the lawsuit are as follows: Oracle argues that the Android software used by Google in a variety of different products effectively breaches no less than seven copyrights and patents currently held by Oracle due to its acquisition of Java software. Google naturally argues otherwise, saying that the Java based software that it uses in its Android devices is open-source, and can therefore be used by anyone.
The battle came to a head very recently, when the CEOs of each company both took to the stand in order to testify. In no less than twenty minutes of testimony, Google CEO Larry Page explained why he thought that Google was not in the wrong, stating that Oracle cannot copyright bits and pieces of Java software. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison stated that most companies using Java had taken licenses and that "just because something is open-source doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it". Page did not help himself when he stated that he did not know if measures had been put in place to ensure that Java software was not copied in the making of the Android product.
Google's argument is essentially that Oracle wants to ride on Google's success in terms of smart phone development. Having looked into acquiring Research in Motion (RIMM) and Palm (PALM), Oracle decided to abandon the idea of creating its own smart phone. Now that its initial plans have been abandoned, some wonder if it may be trying to "grab a slice of Android" in order to improve its standing. If Oracle wins the lawsuit and it is decided that Google did indeed infringe on intellectual property owned by the company, Oracle will be able to effectively use the Android software for its own purposes.
With allegations being thrown back and forth between the two CEOs, it seems unlikely that the trial, which is expected to last about 8 weeks, will provide us with anything definitive anytime soon. One thing that we can say for sure is that there is a lot at stake. Smart phone software is essential for the success of most tech companies in the current day and age, and the winner of this legal battle will certainly be able to get ahead in the market. If Oracle wins the lawsuit, then Google will lose out enormously with its Android software. The outcome of the case could have severe ramifications for both companies, and is therefore something well worth keeping an eye on.
Ironically, Google won Great Indian Developer Awards 2012 for its Android software. Microsoft (MSFT) also took away an award at the event, for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, in the development environment category.
In other news, Oracle recently released its most advanced service fulfillment suite for the communications industry. Essentially what this includes is a list of "applications that enable communications service providers...to design, launch and deliver new services...quickly and cost effectively to keep pace with rapid changes in consumer preferences and technology". The suite is also expected to efficiently deliver customer service orders and reduce IT complexity, meaning that there is a lot of potential for this system to be successful in the future. New developments like these make Oracle a company to look out for.
Competitors to Oracle are also in the process of improving standing in the stock market. Microsoft recently announced its intention to go global by allowing developers from 38 different countries to Metro-style apps for Windows 8 to Microsoft's Windows Store. The overall intention appears to include apps in the Windows software that will be specifically tailored to the needs of different people in different areas, thereby making the entire system more accessible to more people across the world.
SAP AG (SAP) recently announced that its SAP Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Integration for Utilities software will be used in British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) smart meters. What this means is that BC Hydro will now be far better equipped to determine customer needs more accurately and effectively, allowing the company to provide a clean and reliable supply of energy to its customers for a long time to come.
Accenture plc (ACN) recently announced the results of a survey that showed that people not only notice social media symbols on the television while they are watching, but that a large percentage of them actually interact with social media once they have seen the symbols. The implications of this survey are far-reaching and Robin Murdoch, a spokesperson for Accenture, stated that "This has huge revenue growth potential as social media applications build program viewer loyalty and drive online advertising opportunities". The knowledge gained from surveys such as this one allow Accenture to continue to be a leader in the industry.
The competition looks strong, and the lawsuit currently underway may have a huge impact on Oracle's future chances of success. However, it is on the 'right' side of the lawsuit-- for want of a better phrase-- in that Oracle is the company that has brought suit against Google. Although lawsuits almost always come with bad press for a company, it could definitely be worse. In the long run it is probably Google that may suffer more. We should also not forget the advancements that Oracle has made recently in the development of its new applications suite, and although competitors seem to be doing well, many are not competing in the exact same areas that Oracle is currently working in. Keep an eye on the courts and the sale of its suite, and you'll know just where Oracle will stand.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.