Google thwarts Oracle’s claim for copyright infringementBy : CIOL Writers |May 30, 2016 0
In what can be called a big victory, Google bagged a jury verdict in its favour against Oracle Corp.’s accusation that the search-engine giant developed Android by copying its core Java technology illegaly, without a licence. Oracle had alleged that Google enjoyed profits of over $20 billion from more than 3 billion Android activations, and sought damages of $8.8 billion, plus $475 million towards lost licensing revenue.
San Francisco federal court jury rejected Oracle’s argument that Google needed a license to use its Java programming language to develop Android, and concluded Google made fair use of the code under copyright law.
This spells good news not only for Google, but also for scores of programmers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products, from games to enterprise, for multiple open platforms without a license. It also comes as a big relief for companies that create interoperable software.
This is the second trial initiated by Oracle to establish Google’s alleged infringement. In the first trial in 2012, jurors had found Google guilty of infringing Oracle’s copyrights but couldn’t establish if Google was justified under the fair use legal doctrine.
Oracle plans to appeal against the latest verdict in Washington, because “We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market,” Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement. Oracle filed the lawsuit in 2010.
Google, on the other hand, claims that it used Java to innovate, rather than merely for copying the code. Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., Eric Schmidt told the jury that he believed Google was permitted to use the APIs without a negotiated license, as long as the company relied on its own code. Sun Microsystems, which Google acquired in 2010, promoted the APIs as “free and open,” and not sold or licensed separately from Java, he said.