Website FOSS Patents said that the open-source Android distributions of device makers including Motorola, LG and Samsung appear to include copyrighted code from Oracle (gained through its earlier acquisition of Sun Microsystems), potentially putting these companies at risk of an infringement lawsuit. The comments follow an earlier post on the site, which noted “additional material that Oracle might present to the court as examples of copyright-infringing material in the Android codebase” – Oracle and Google currently have a lawsuit active concerning the use of Java code in Android. This included six files which show “the same pattern of direct copying” as previously presented by Oracle in its submissions, and 37 which are marked as “proprietary/confidential.”
According to FOSS Patents, the infringing code is included in current iterations of the Android platform, including Android 2.2 (FroYo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It was also noted that it is uncertain if this is used in commercially shipping devices from Motorola, LG and Samsung, with the possibility it was included in these companies’ Android distributions solely for internal purposes, such as testing. It was suggested that these companies “probably relied on the presumed legality of the Android codebase.” It was noted that Dell and HTC “decided to omit those files from their online source distributions.” Late last year, Google argued that it is not responsible for the actions of third-parties using the Android platform.