Oracle and Google to return to court for Android battle

The companies will battle over Google's use of Java in Android

Android characters at Google I/O 2014

Android characters at Google I/O 2014

Oracle and Google have each proposed dates next northern spring for a new jury trial in their dispute over Google's use of Java in Android.

Oracle sought roughly US$1 billion in damages at the last trial, and that figure appears set to increase significantly given Android's success in the three years since.

Some software developers are watching the case closely, fearing an outcome in Oracle's favor will limit their freedom to write code that works with proprietary applications.

In court papers filed late Thursday, Oracle proposed next April 4 for the trial to begin, while Google proposed May or June.

Since it filed its lawsuit five years ago, Oracle has pushed to move the case along as quickly as possible. On Thursday, it objected to Google's proposed trial date because Oracle's fiscal year ends May 31, and it says its key executives will be busy. It will be up to the judge to decide the date.

At the last trial, Oracle founder Larry Ellison testified, as well as Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Oracle says Google infringed its copyrights when it copied some of the most common Java application programming interfaces into Android. Google did this, according to Oracle, because it wanted to make it easy for Java developers to write apps for Android.

Google says its use of the APIs is protected by "fair use," which allows copying of creative works in some circumstances. Google argues, among other things, that it had no choice but to use the APIs because they're a basic, functional part of Java.

In the first trial, which wrapped up two years ago, a jury found Google had infringed Oracle's copyrights but was split on the question of fair use. That's the part the new jury will have to decide, along with any damages Oracle might be entitled to.

Earlier this week, Oracle asked to update its original complaint to reflect Android's success over the past five years. Android has "come to permeate the fabric of our society," Oracle wrote, while its own Java platform has "suffered more than ever."

Those factors mean Oracle will push for higher compensation for Google's alleged infringement. As Google acknowledged in the filing Thursday, "Oracle's damages request is likely to increase significantly since the last trial."

The case will be heard at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googleintellectual propertycopyrightCivil lawsuitslegalOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?