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Google trumps Oracle in Court, judge rules Android made ‘fair use’ of Java API’s

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The impending battle between Google and Oracle has finally come to an end, as the jury has ruled that Android’s implementation of the 37 Java API’s in question falls under ‘fair use’ copyright law. This decision sent a flare of happiness among the developer community, who believe that this will protect their right to write code without intrusion. The month long trial reached the final verdict this Thursday, after asking only one question from the members of the jury. It inquired if Google’s use of Java API’s was ‘fair use’ under copyright law or not? The jury unanimously answered – yes – and the case ended with Google’s victory. None of the jurors were available for questioning, but a Google spokesperson expressed his content after winning the case. He added that,

Today’s verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products.

The said lawsuit ends this very moment, because the verdict is in favor of Google. If the jury had ruled in favor of Oracle and that the implementation of their Java code wasn’t under ‘fair use’ law then every software developer would have to re-write their code using open source API’s. The lawsuit also would have pushed into ‘damages’ mode and the task at hand would have been to decide how much money Google needs to shell out to please Oracle. Oracle still isn’t satisfied with the judge’s decision and is expected to appeal the decision to drag Google back to court. They don’t seem to settle and are after Google, who they believe infringed on their Java technology to rush to the market with their new Mobile OS -Android.

Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google’s illegal behavior. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case back to the Federal Circuit on appeal. added Oracle’s general counsel, Dorian Daley

As reported earlier, both parties were to present final witnesses on Monday and Larry Page, the founder and current CEO of parent Alphabet Inc was also there to defend Android and its 11,000 lines of Java code that Oracle is asking reimbursement for. The jurors however heard the testimony from current and former CEO’s at Sun Microsystems(founders of Java), Oracle and Google and reported their final decision yesterday. A number of software developers and technical experts also attended the party to defend either side respectively. If you’re unaware of the whole scenario, let’s back track to 2010. Oracle had acquires Sun Microsystems and Android had started gaining traction as an alternative to Apple’s iPhone. So, Oracle decided to dig into Android’s open-source code and decide that Google had implemented their functionality using Java libraries and API’s without permission. So, it filed a case against the Silicon Valley tech giant, and they have been meeting in court ever since. The judge however initially ruled that Google hasn’t infringed on any copyright laws, and that the API’s were free to use under Sun Microsystems. The lawsuit then converted into a ‘fair use’ lawsuit which made Google and Oracle execs gather under the same roof once again. And the result of the aforementioned meeting, once again has been ruled in favor of Mountain View. Since Oracle has decided to appeal the decision again, both parties might face each other in Court once again. It seems that Oracle needs a final third blow to understand that Google is in fact right in using Java(an open-source library back then) to build their Android platform. The six-year long battles seems to be never-ending due to Oracle’s stubborn outlook to the problem.


A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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