Jury Rules Google Makes ‘Fair Use’ of Java APIs in Android

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A federal jury today bought an end to the patent infringement fight between Google and Oracle, with the former winning the battle. Oracle had accused Google of using 37 Java APIs without its permission and paying it the necessary royalties. Both companies have been involved in this legal battle since 2010.

The jury declared that Google’s use of the 37 Java APIs was protected by “fair use,” which means that Oracle is not entitled to receive any money from Google for use of Java’s APIs in Android.

In 2012, Google had won the first jury trial against Oracle on this matter. At that time, US District Judge William Alsup ruled that APIs cannot be copyrighted, though the decision was latter overturned on Oracle’s appeal.

During the latest trial, Oracle argued that Google copied 11,500 lines of code from Java at the company’s expense in a bid to quickly release Android.

“They copied 11,500 lines of code,” Oracle attorney Peter Bicks said during closing arguments. “It’s undisputed. They took the code, they copied it, and put it right into Android.”

Oracle used to benefit greatly from the sale of feature phones since they used to receive licensing revenues from their sales. However, as Android and iPhone took over the smartphone world, the company’s revenues declined.

Not surprisingly, Oracle will be appealing against the decision. The company’s lawyer said that there are numerous “grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case back to the Federal Circuit on appeal.”

At this point, Oracle should just humbly accept its defeat and move on instead of dragging this matter and causing further embarrassment to itself. What do you think?

[Via Ars Technica]

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