Google’s Android operating system is the world’s best-selling Smartphone platform. Oracle sued Google in 2010, claiming that Google had improperly incorporated parts of Java into Android. Oracle is seeking roughly $1 billion on its copyright claims. Recently, U.S court decided that Oracle could copyright parts of Java Programming language, which Google used to design its Android Smartphone operating system.
Oracle Corp won this case on May 9th, 2014 as a U.S. appeals court decided Oracle could copyright parts of the Java programming language, which Google used to design its Android Smartphone operating system.
- On January27, 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, Inc. Sun is now Oracle America, asubsidiary of Oracle. One of the most important technologies Oracle acquired with Sun was the Java platform.
- Oracle filed suit against Google for alleged patent and copyright infringement on 12th Aug, 2010.the suit concerns intellectual property related to the Java programming language, which Oracle purchased through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems
- The case was assigned to Judge William Alsup, who split the case into three phases: copyright, patent, and damages.
- The copyright phase consisted of several distinct claims of infringement: a nine-line range Check function, several test files, the structure, sequence and organization of the Java Application Programming Interface (API), and the API documentation.
- Oracle alleged infringement of 37 Java packages. After extensive pre-trial briefing, this phase began on April 16, 2012.
- At the end of this phase, the jury ruled that the API was infringed, but deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense for this claim. They also found that range Check was infringed, but that neither the documentation nor the other literal code was.
- The patent phase began on May 7, 2012. The jury found non-infringement on all patent counts. As a result of these rulings and a stipulation, there was no jury damages phase. The parties agreed to zero dollars in statutory damages for a small amount of copied code.
- The court’s decision was published on May 31, 2012. It upheld the jury verdict on range Check, though it was described as “overblown”. In response to a motion for a judgment as a matter of law, the court ruled that the other literally-copied files also infringed, setting aside that portion of the jury verdict.
- Oracle appealed to the Federal Circuit, and Google filed a cross-appeal on the literal copying claim. The hearing was held on December 4, 2013, & judgment was released on May 9, 2014.
- The circuit court reversed the district court on the central issue, holding that the “structure, sequence and organization” of an API was copyrightable. It also ruled for Oracle regarding the small amount of literal copying. The case was remanded back to the district court for reconsideration of the fair use defense
Oracle America is the owner by assignment of United States Patents Nos. 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38, 104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520,originally issued to Sun.
Photo Credit: Peter Kaminski / http://www.flickr.com / CC BY-SA 2.0
By Akshatha Karthik