Oracle refuses to let go of Google for using Java in its Android operating system

Oracle-Google Lawsuit Continues: Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in use of Java for Android API battle

Looks like the animosity between Oracle and Google is going to continue for some more time! The software giant on Friday night filed an appeal brief reviving its copyright and patent claim lawsuit against Google over its use of Oracle programming code to create the Android operating system.

The legal battle that formally started in 2010 over bits of Java code called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), has wound its way through two federal trials and multiple appeals courts. In May last year, Oracle had lost the plagiarism case it had filed against Google.

Google had argued that the copying fell within the “fair use” provision of copyright law, meaning it was free to use it. At that time, a jury of 10 unanimously agreed with Google. The search giant then had issued a statement in support of the jury’s decision.

“Today’s verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products,” a Google spokesperson said in May.

However, then Oracle had said that it would appeal against the verdict, which it did this Friday night. The brief, filed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, aims to overrule a federal jury’s decision in May that Google’s use of Oracle software didn’t violate copyright law.

Oracle contends in the seven-year legal battle that Google’s use of Oracle software, specifically its use of Java API in its Android OS, violates copyright law.

“In the first trial in this case, the jury found that Google’s Android software infringes Oracle’s copyrights in the Java Standard Edition (‘SE’) platform but hung on the question of whether Google’s copying was a fair use,” Oracle said in its filing on Friday afternoon.

“After the trial, the district court held that the portions of Java that Google copied were not entitled to copyright protection and entered judgment for Google.”

Oracle’s lawyers argue in the appeal filing, “Google started trial knowing a fact it kept secret from everyone else: It was days away from announcing that ‘the full functionality of Android would soon be working on desktops and laptops, not just on smartphones and tablets.'”

”When a plagiarist takes the most recognizable portions of a novel and adapts them into a film, the plagiarist commits the ‘classic’ unfair use,” Oracle wrote in their appeal referencing ‘fair use’ provisions in copyright law.

”Google’s copying in this case is the software equivalent of this classic unfair use.”

The company argued that Google “reaped enormous commercial benefits from copying … Java APIs,” to explicitly “target and steal Oracle’s customers.”

The case, Oracle America vs Google Inc, will be heard by the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in the Northern District of California. Google has yet to comment on the appeal made by Oracle.

The tech industry is keeping a close eye on the legal battle between Oracle and Google because it could have a chilling ripple effect on some of the ways that software developers freely use and share code today.

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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