Google has won a major 6-year long court battle in the US against Java owner Oracle.
A jury found Google had not unfairly appropriated code associated with the Java programming language. Oracle had argued that Google had infringed its copyright by using 11,500 lines of code from Java when it originally developed the API for the Android operating system.
Oracle originally began its legal action in 2010, with the two companies facing off in court for the first time in 2012. Back then, a federal judge ruled against Oracle as well, but the company appealed on several grounds.
Like a dog with a bone, Oracle kept on fighting, and after lots of back and forth arguments, the case eventually ended up back in court again.
Oracle’s main legal argument was that Google gone above and beyond a ‘fair use’ of the Java code in its Android OS, and consequently was seeking for a payoff of around $9 billion.
The outcome of the court battle has been watched closely by other software developers. A victory for Oracle might have seen the start of a whole swathe of legal actions against other, smaller companies who have incorporated Java into their own software.
Oracle lawyer Dorian Daley said that the company would probably not be accepting the ruling, and would probably appeal….
“We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market…. Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google’s illegal behaviour. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case back to the federal circuit on appeal.”
Google uses Java in its Android smartphone operating system which powers about 80% of the world’s mobile devices.
Oracle bought out the company that originally developed Java, Sun Microsystems, in 2010.