Google has emerged victorious in an ostensibly critical legal struggle against Oracle in the companies’ legal skirmish for the search giant’s use of the Java programming language in implementing its Android mobile operating system.
US District Court Judge William Alsup has ruled that the accusations against Google’s use of 37 Java application programming interfaces (APIs) have no reasonable basis for copyright infringement, a ruling that now discharges Google from a copyright infringement verdict that a jury passed last month. The ruling also does away with the need for Google to appeal the case.
Judge Alsup, however, added that his ruling exclusively goes for the Java APIs called up by Oracle in its lawsuit against Google’s use of them in Android, rather than all software APIs.
“This order does not hold that Java API packages are free for all to use without license. It does not hold that the structure, sequence and organization of all computer programs may be stolen,” wrote Judge Alsup in the ruling. “Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular elements replicated by Google were free for all to use under the Copyright Act.”
The judge explained that the ruling on whether the APIs involved in the case are copyrightable or not had been kept isolated from the previous jury decision on copyright infringement to provide an easier process for appeals and allow higher courts to reinstate the past verdict should his ruling on copyright qualification knocked over, but that would still need a new trial on the subject of whether Google’s usage of the Java APIs in Android OS lays the groundwork for Fair Use.
While the jury found that Google actually copied the Java APIs in Android, it brushed aside all eight of the patent violation claims that business software giant Oracle brought up.
The court ruling is the most recent and a potentially crucial The ruling is the latest and perhaps decisive turn of events in the infringement case between Oracle and Google with regards to the latter’s use of Java APIs in the massively popular and industry-leading Android mobile operating system. Oracle maintains that Google did not have permission to use Java code when the programming language still was under the turf of software developer Sun Microsystems, but Google argues that Java and the APIs currently in question no longer need a license since they are free to use. From the looks of it, Google triumphed in the lawsuit, whereas Oracle has shown intent to put up an appeal.