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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightOracleGooglelegalintellectual propertyCivil lawsuits

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?