Google suffers setback in Oracle case against use of Java APIs in Android

Google is about to get another setback in defending Android in the courtroom as ruling from the Oracle vs Google case is expected to be reversed, according to information from litigation reporters present at the hearing.

Oracle and Google have been involved in a high-profile lawsuit for over three years in which Oracle has claimed that Google has infringed on copyrighted intellectual property of the company. Oracle alleged that Google infringed on seven patents and copyrights with the Android mobile operating system. Damages estimated by Oracle were a whopping $6 billion but the claim was played down by the judge at the time.

The case has seen varied responses from the companies and the jury over the period of time. It was eventually ruled that Google will not have to pay any damages and Oracle was asked to pay the legal fees. However, that didn't stop Oracle from challenging the verdict and continuing the legal battle. They gained support from Microsoft earlier in the year, who themselves have been successfully dealing with patent infringing Android vendors.

Now, a hearing of the appeals court has gone underway and litigation reporters from various media outfits are reporting that the initial ruling is expected to be reversed and might go in favour of Oracle. The appeals court seems to have accepted that the infringed code was indeed copyrightable.

Some of the tweets that appeared regarding the hearing can be seen below.

If the ruling does get reversed in the coming weeks, a retrial will take place to determine fair use in case District court fails to find remedies.

Source: FOSS Patents

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Hotfile.com settles with MPAA for $80 million but closes anyway

Next Story

Google Search for Android updated to include content from apps

33 Comments

View more comments

Major_Plonquer said,

Dream on. Over here in Asia where Android has its heaviest OEM support handset manufacturers are preparing to universally dump Android in 2014. They'll replace it with patent-clean Tizen (aka MeeGo) which, with the addition of Alien Dalvik technology runs Android apps even faster than Android does. So why should Samsung, HTC, Huawei and ZTE continue paying up to $35 per Android device to Microsoft when they can get better performance at a lower price with Tizen? They won't. RIP.

Meanwhile Apple and Nokia have recently won cases against Android and they'll want their share. Now there's a potential that Android handset manufacturers might have to pay Oracle too. Maybe even retroactively. Double dead.

And no, there are no ART get arounds. These patent issues are fundamental.

FYI Tizen is NOT Meego.

techbeck said,

Dream on yourself. Android is everywhere and it is not going anywhere anytime soon...if at all. It may not always be the dominate platform, but it is here to stay. MS has dealt with their fair say of suits and patent issues over the years and they are still around. Law suits dont necessarily mean the end of a company/product per say. Google already has been taken measures to remove Dalvik and at most, they will have to pay Oracle a fine IF Oracle wins. Google can more than afford that fine and makes more off of Android that the fine will most likely be. So yea, Android isnt going anywhere. Dream on indeed

The fine isn't the problem the problem is android handset license
Microsoft: 5-15 dollars per device depending on contract(5 only for oems who also make WP handsets and do it decently)
Nokia: not sure, but probably at least 5
Apple: also not sure, but again probably at least 5
Oracle: integral part of android, will certainly be at least 5 per device

That means android phones would pay at LEAST $20-30 in licenses.

Don't know which of these companies I despise the most but regardless of that, I hope like heck the ruling gets reversed just so Google has to fork over some cash!! Even if does only amount to a slap on the wrist!!

Then again, $6 billion just might equate to more than a slap, even for Google!

vcfan said,
stealers gonna steal

Windows got popular by stealing/using others ideas...and yet you use Windows. Interesting....

Next

techbeck said,

Windows got popular by stealing/using others ideas...and yet you use Windows. Interesting....

Next

Yes and there isn't another company that made successful products based on the inspiration or designs of others. The degree to which it's done and can be proven in court is today's unfortunate measure.

Google used what some of the structure of Java, not the coding language itself. Many programming languages are similar or use similar tactics to aid in development. To put this in English, you should not be able to copyright the phrase "get a sandwich". If google looses this will causes problems in the entire software development community. We need to let our voices and concerns be heard over this issue.

betax said,
Google used what some of the structure of Java, not the coding language itself. Many programming languages are similar or use similar tactics to aid in development. To put this in English, you should not be able to copyright the phrase "get a sandwich". If google looses this will causes problems in the entire software development community. We need to let our voices and concerns be heard over this issue.

Exactly. The idea that every API class/method/etc in existence that serves the same purpose must have a different name is madness. We'd end up with a mess of libraries that all use different names to do the same thing.

It's a shame someone didn't copyright the "[Rr]eplace" method. Imagine how many companies you could sue .

The thing that perhaps worries me the most is the terrifying precedent that it could set going forward. If Google can't copy object definitions from Java, what of WINE, which implements many Microsoft API's for Windows compatibility in Linux? What of the Mono project which is a clone of .NET for non-Windows platforms? Will every web API need to be scanned for potential infringements?

This thing needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP. Otherwise it's going to set back software development by years.

You misunderstood. They don't have to re-write the entire code/methods with different name. Google should NOT have removed or placed a copy rights [license] notes on the distributed code, that it has been inherited from Oracle under so and so license terms.

That's what even open-source GPL license about. You can modify it, though you should maintain the original license notes.

They ripped off the API and then claimed it has no value. Why would they rip it off it has no value? The reason is all the other companies that have invested huge amounts of resources into building the Java community since long before Google existed. They did that with the understanding that no company could fork it and make it proprietary. Not only did they steal from Sun, they stole from everyone else that built Java.

nitins60 said,
You misunderstood. They don't have to re-write the entire code/methods with different name. Google should NOT have removed or placed a copy rights [license] notes on the distributed code, that it has been inherited from Oracle under so and so license terms.

That's what even open-source GPL license about. You can modify it, though you should maintain the original license notes.

My understanding was that the code was a clean-room implementation. Nothing was copied, it was re-written from scratch. (http://www.theverge.com/2012/4...stimony-oracle-google-trial).

They could have done that initially but they wanted to tap the huge pool of developers created by other people. They used all those resources yet gave the finger to the community process and compatibility.

Spicoli said,
They could have done that initially but they wanted to tap the huge pool of developers created by other people. They used all those resources yet gave the finger to the community process and compatibility.

Almost every Android app runs on ART with zero modifications from the devs, so it would have made no difference regarding that "tapping on the pool of developers" if they had released ART from the beginning instead of Dalvik.

Dalvik does not pass the duck test:
"If it looks like a java, IDEs like a java, and compiles like a java, then it probably is java."

Commenting is disabled on this article.