I was shocked by the law suit Oracle is performing. As far as I understand Oracle sues Google because of patents Oracle acquired with buying Sun Microsystems. This is in a Java related context, but it is not about the Java language itself.

A few days later I told a friend about „elliptic curve cryptography“, which uses smaller key length and is considered to solve the problem of the fast growing key sized required with RSA to provide reasonable security.

I was very surprised to find that Sun contributed to the OpenSSL project elliptic curve cryptography code. Along with that came the explicit granting of usage of related patents in the context of OpenSSL. (Well I knew that Sun was a really big OpenSource contributer with Gnome, OpenOffice and other projects, but I am pleasently surprised whenever I stumble upon something new.)

I will cite one sentence of the OpenSSL-FAQ which clearly underlines the statement of James Gosling that patent suits are „not in the DNA of Sun“. Even more, it shows that Sun considered patent-peace as an important part of innovation:

This „patent peace provision“ is a positive trend for the overall open source community.

A cross industry „patent peace arrangement“ will encourage more technology contribution to the open source community and will help accelerate the standardization of key technologies such as Elliptic Curve Cryptography.

The open source community users can only benefit from this movement.

It makes me sad – over and over again – to remember that Sun in this incarnation seems to be gone.
I wonder which company will follow the Oracle suit. I guess in the end there will be no winners after all.