Times have changed since Larry Ellison’s company officially ‘opposed the patentability of software’.
A lot of information is coming out of the woodwork now that Oracle (ORCL) is suing Google (GOOG) for patent infringement. One of many gems comes from Groklaw. Oracle’s 1994 patent policy as presented in testimony at USPTO hearings that year (emphasis mine):
“Situational Ethics” is the term being thrown around Oracle’s change of heart.
Since many believe that Oracle’s patents include significant prior art, something they rally against above, it will be interesting to see if Google uses Oracle’s own words, however old, against them.
Along with Java, Oracle now owns a lot of Open Source projects that they acquired from Sun (MySQL, OpenOffice, OpenSolaris, Virtualbox). This action has developers in those areas watching closely.