Washington DC
14 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Oracle revives Google case


Oracle has revived its long running copyright dispute with Google over its Java application interfaces (APIs).

The company has once again taken the search engine to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, this time to appeal against last year’s jury finding Google’s use of 37 Java APIs constituted fair use.

Google has reaped “billions of dollars while leaving Oracle’s Java business in tatters”, according to its opening brief.

In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and the rights to the Java programming language for $7 billion.

It then promptly sued Google, which, according to Oracle’s general counsel, Dorian Daley, developed its Android operating system by “illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market”.

Last year, the jury concluded that Google’s use of the APIs constituted “fair use”.

But Oracle said in its brief that the jury reached the wrong result because “the district court repeatedly undermined Oracle’s case, often directly contrary to [the Federal Circuit’s] prior opinion”.

“The court sua sponte reinforced Google’s theme that Android was limited to the smartphone market where Java supposedly did not compete—and eliminated one of Oracle’s central arguments—by precluding Oracle from showing all the markets where Android and Java overlapped.”

Oracle said that Google knew that this was false, but soon after the decision, it announced Android for PCs.

“Google was secretly planning the launch for months, but Google explicitly—and falsely—denied any such plan in written discovery responses.”

“Nevertheless, when the truth emerged, the district court declined to vacate the verdict.”

Google has yet to file its response.

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