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 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 OracleGooglejava

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?