Microsoft, NetApp, and EMC Join Oracle In Lawsuit Against Google

Posted Feb 20, 2013

Microsoft Corporation, EMC, and NetApp are working with Oracle on an appeal against an earlier decision regarding copyright and patent infringement against Google surrounding the Android mobile operating system.  The three companies filed an amici curiae brief in support of appellant according to court records as reported by IT World.  Amici curiae means “friends of the court” and it does not mean that parties are directly involved in a litigation, but believes they may be impacted or they have views on the matter before by the court.

According to a filing from earlier this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Oracle said that the appeals court should rule that Google’s commercial use of Java was not fair use.  Google was cleared last May of most of the infringement claims in Oracle’s lawsuit.  However Google was found to have copied a small portion of Oracle’s Java code.

The issue of the trial was whether Google copied 37 of Oracle’s Java APIs into the Android operating system.  Oracle calls each API “packages” of source code.  The judge ruled this past May that the APIs were not eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law.  In a filing, Oracle said that the jury found Google infringed Oracle’s copyright in the packages and computer routine called rangeCheck, but did not end up coming to a decision on whether it could be viewed as fair use.  Oracle said that The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California made a legal error that the infringed code and the 37 packages of code were devoid of copyright protection.

Other companies that have filed amicus curiae briefs that support Oracle also include BSA, the Graphics Artists Guild, and the Picture Archive Council of America.  Microsoft and Google are intense rivals and compete in areas like search, mobile operating systems, e-mail, and office applications.