Judge clears Google of Java copyright infringement

The judge's ruling holds that the Java APIs in Android are not covered by copyright, though it does not extend to all APIs

A U.S. judge has ruled that the Java application programming interfaces used in Android are not protected by copyright, marking a defeat for Oracle in its high-stakes lawsuit against Google.

The ruling is a fairly narrow one, applying only to the 37 Java APIs that were at issue at trial. Still, it will be seen as a victory by many in the software industry, who feared that a ruling in favor of Oracle would stifle innovation in the software industry.

"This order does not hold that Java API packages are free for all to use without license," Judge William Alsup wrote in an order filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. "It does not hold that the structure, sequence and organization of all computer programs may be stolen. Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular elements replicated by Google were free for all to use under the Copyright Act."

Oracle seems likely to appeal the judge's ruling to a higher court.

Oracle sued Google about two years ago, alleging its Android software infringed both patents and copyrights for Java that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems in early 2010. Google was cleared of patent infringement by the jury, and the judge's ruling Thursday means it has now been cleared of copyright infringement as well.

(More to follow).

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 newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?