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Java Inventor Joins Other Founding Fathers at Google

James Gosling, the man who founded programming language Java at Sun Microsystems, announced this morning on his blog that, “through some odd twists in the road over the past year…I find myself starting employment at Google today.”

If you haven’t been following closely, the move is one that a non-fiction writer could only hope for to make reality sound as good as fiction. It comes in the midst of a lawsuit accusing Google of “knowingly, directly and repeatedly” infringing Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property with its Android operating system. Read on for the untangling of the details.

Last August, Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that its Android software infringes on patents and copyrights related to Java, patents acquired when Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems. Google has called the whole thing “baseless.” Gosling used to work for Sun Microsystems, where he founded Java, but left when it was acquired by Oracle last year.

Now, in a move that seems to thumb his nose at both Sun and Oracle, Gosling has joined the one company accused of infringing on the intellectual property he was initially responsible for. What will be his purpose with the Big G? He says that he isn’t sure, but that “it’ll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon.”

Some are speculating that Gosling will come over to the Google-side to work on Android, the IP offender in question, while others wonder if “having on your payroll the father of the programming language at issue in the suit will come in handy when it goes to trial.”

Gosling joins other big names like Vint Cerf and Tim Bray at the company that intends to harness the world’s information. Cerf led the team in the 1970s that created the TCP/IP protocols, which act as the backbone to the Internet. Bray co-invented XML, a standard that has since been used in the development of hundreds of languages, including RSS, ATOM and XHTML. At a company like Google, which has its hands in everything from self-driving cars to virtually replicating every square inch of the earth’s surface, one can only guess what purpose yet another leader like Gosling could serve.

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