Supreme Court rules in favor of Google in lengthy battle with Oracle over the use of Java...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member
In brief: The Supreme Court of the United States has sided with Google in its long-running legal battle with Oracle over the use of Java APIs in Android. The two sides have traded jabs in lower courts over the past decade before the matter made its way to the Supreme Court. At one point, Oracle was seeking more than $9 billion in damages from Google.

Oracle, if you recall, filed suit against Google in August 2010, alleging its Android mobile operating system infringed upon Java patents Oracle acquired following its purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Specifically, Google copied roughly 11,500 lines of code from 37 Java application programming interfaces (APIs) “to allow the millions of programmers familiar with the Java programming language to work with its new Android platform.”

Arguments were made to the high court back in October and on April 5, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 in favor of Google. Ultimately, the court decided that Google’s copying of the Java API was a fair use of the material.

Dorian Daley, executive vice president and general counsel at Oracle, said of the decision, “the Google platform just got bigger and market power greater—the barriers to entry higher and the ability to compete lower. They stole Java and spent a decade litigating as only a monopolist can.”

“This behavior is exactly why regulatory authorities around the world and in the United States are examining Google’s business practices,” the executive added.

Google SVP of global affairs, Kent Walker, meanwhile, said the Supreme Court’s ruling “is a victory for consumers, interoperability, and computer science. The decision gives legal certainty to the next generation of developers whose new products and services will benefit consumers.”

Images courtesy icedmocha, Michael Vi

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fps4ever

Posts: 659   +863
Java was open-source, but Oracle didn't want Google to freely fork its own project off it and they wanted to be involved. Open-source walled garden? Lol. Stupid lawsuit Oracle probably spent a billion dollars on.

Oracle didn't have an issue with Google getting bigger, they just wanted a cut and a future paywall for other companies to use their open source IP portfolio as a weaponized income.
 
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Mr Majestyk

Posts: 673   +582
And I thought Oracles could see the future. Fantastic decision by the Supreme Court. If the Oracle scum had won this would have been a dark day for software coders. This might be one of the few times I've ever supported Google.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 312   +297
I am all for capitalism, but fair capitalism. While I am no fan of half the crap Google has pulled this by far Is something they needed to win. Technology on code needs a definitive shelf life even hardware technology can cripple opposing companies, something needs to be done for the new age to encourage competition while still allowing companies that create the tech to profit, not an easy problem to fix, but in the end it causes stifled aspects of the tech sector and as a whole society suffers from lack of competition and forward progressive technology. Intel's processor reign pretty much can show how damaging it can really be.
 

umbala

Posts: 339   +434
I hope all those companies that actually paid Oracle's ridiculous "royalties" get to go back to court and sue them for every penny they had to pay!
 

pmshah

Posts: 154   +21
Oracle didn't have an issue with Google getting bigger, they just wanted a cut and a future paywall for other companies to use their open source IP portfolio as a weaponized income.
Not much different from what MS did to the likes of Samsung, LG & others under some bogus IP purported to have been used in Linux code in Android OS. The hardware manufacturers could not have sustained import blocks / bans to they paid !!!
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,806   +1,038
Not much different from what MS did to the likes of Samsung, LG & others under some bogus IP purported to have been used in Linux code in Android OS. The hardware manufacturers could not have sustained import blocks / bans to they paid !!!
Except Microsoft's code was not open source. The code in question was open source, prior to Oracle purchasing Sun. Microsoft's model is basically "F- you, pay me" from the moment you want something. Oracle wanted people to adopt their ecosystem, and then once someone had become dependent on Oracle-owned code, the "F- you, pay me" letters would show up.

For the first time in a while, Google actually did something pro-consumer. If only because they were the consumer in this case.
 

pmshah

Posts: 154   +21
"Except Microsoft's code was not open source"
What M$ claim was that Android based on Linux supposedly breached their copyrighted code. So these hardware manufacturers could pay up OR stop their manufacturing activity if they wanted to use the OS. It was out and out blackmail of the worst order.

Why did they not go after Google instead who supposedly were in claimed contravention of their copyright?