Google wins latest round in Oracle legal battle

Software giant unlikely to give up the fight

Google CEO, Larry Page is all smiles over his company's recent win over Oracle

Google CEO, Larry Page is all smiles over his company's recent win over Oracle

A jury has found in favour of Google in the latest round of a legal battle in which software giant, Oracle, was suing the search behemoth for breach of copyright.

The jury ruled that Google had shown its implementation of Java within its mobile operating system, Android, constituted ‘Fair Use’ under the US Copyright Act. Oracle had been seeking $US9 billion in damages.

The ‘Fair Use’ clause in the Act is usually reserved for derivative works based on another’s intellectual property. It was originally intended to protect individuals in pursuits such as education, parody, commentary and criticism.

After three days, the jury ruled unanimously that Google’s actions were within the law.

The two companies have been tied up in a lawsuit for years, which resulted in the current retrial of a 2012 hearing in San Francisco.

Google began incorporating features from Java into Android in 2007, the same year the mobile operating system was publicly unveiled.

Java was owned by Sun Microsystems at that time but after Oracle bought the company in 2010, it asked Google to pay licensing fees, highlighting 37 separate API packages it claimed Google had implemented.

When the two companies could not come to terms, Oracle sued Google for using the APIs without permission.

Oracle’s founder and CEO, Larry Ellison, the fourth richest man in America, has been critical of Google and particularly of CEO Larry Page for many years, saying publicly on many occasions that he has a deep personal dislike for the Google chief.

In the suit, Oracle argued Google had stolen its intellectual property, denying the company billions in revenue in the smartphone market.

In response, Google argued its implementation of Java APIs fall under US copyright laws for fair use, which permits limited use of copyrighted material without licensing for creative, educational, and other purposes.

Page and other Google executives, including former Android boss, Andy Rubin, have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the use of Oracle’s APIs. They claimed the company was free to use elements of Java without a license.

Oracle sought more than $US9 billion in damages from Google in the current battle.

A Google spokesperson said the verdict represented 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.

Oracle general counsel, Dorian Daley, said in a statement after the verdict the company strongly believed Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market.

“Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google’s illegal behavior. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case back to the Federal Circuit on appeal,” he added.

Despite the latest ruling, the verdict is unlikely to be the end of the fight as most case followers suspect it will likely return to the appeals court.

Following that, either party could make another bid to be heard by the US Supreme Court.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GooglejavaOracle

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.
Chris Player
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


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

Anthony Grifoni


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

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?