Updates to this story
Database giant Oracle has launched a legal action against Google, alleging that the company infringes seven patents it owns related to Java.
Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, was formerly a chief technical officer for Sun Microsystems. Sun Microsystems was bought by Oracle.
The move is interesting because when Sun Microsystems was a separate entity it promoted Java as an open source option.
Google never formally took out a licence from Sun Microsystems, while Java is widely used in a large number of applications created by other vendors. The law suit will cause other manufacturers to wonder whether Oracle will start a patent hunt against them.
The move prompted the Wall Street Journal to remind its readers that Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, is a friend of Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple.
Apple considers Android to be a considerable threat to the iPhone and the Google OS continues to grow its market share as an OS for smartphones.