Jury rules in Google's favour for Java fight
Google emerged victorious in a trial against Oracle for using the Java software in Google's Android operating system. Oracle sought almost $9bn (£6.1bn) in damages and condemned that Google had infringed on it's copyright. Android runs 80% of the world's mobile devices. "Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market," said Oracle lawyer Dorian Daley.
The dispute revolves around Oracle's copyright and patent claims on Google's Android operating system. Oracle claimed that Google reaped huge benefits by copying pieces of Oracle's programming language called Java, thereby stealing Oracle's intellectual property. Google's argued that it used only a small part of Java to create Android and thus fit the "fair use" exemption. Post-verdict, Oracle immediately said it would appeal.
In May 2012, the jury ruled that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents stating that API's (Application Programming Interfaces) cannot be copyrighted. On May 9, 2014, the Federal Circuit ruled in favour of Oracle's copyrightability issue, and remanded the issue of 'fair use' to the a district court. On May 26, 2016, the court cleared Google of copyright infringement.
Google's original argument was that API's like the one's in Java are not eligible for protection. This was agreed to by a federal judge, but an appeals court overturned this ruling. It turned next to the legal doctrine of fair use, which permits copying of creative works under bounded circumstances, commonly for things like criticism, satire and educational use.
Lawyers for both sides attempted to explain to the jury how to calculate "fair use" in the context of programming language. Google used the concept of chefs creating dishes on a menu as an analogy for the case.
While Oracle said it will appeal the latest verdict on "numerous grounds.", Google welcomed the jury's finding in its own statement. "Today's verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem" said Google.