Oracle Corporation (ORCL) wins copyright against Google Inc (GOOGL)

Posted May 10, 2014

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has won a legal victory against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) on Friday because a U.S. appeals court decided Oracle could copyright parts of the Java programming language, which Google uses for designing the Android smartphone operating system.

This case was decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. In 2012, there was a testimony from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page. The Google Android operating system is the world’s best selling smartphone platform.

Oracle sued Google in 2010 claiming that the search giant improperly incorporated parts of Java into Android. Oracle is seeking around $1 billion its copyright claims.

A San Francisco federal judge decided that Oracle could not claim copyright protection on parts of Java, but a three-judge Federal Circuit panel reversed that ruling on Friday.

“The Federal Circuit’s opinion is a win for Oracle and the entire software industry that relies on copyright protection to fuel innovation and ensure that developers are rewarded for their breakthroughs,” stated Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley.

This case determined whether computer language that connects programs, known as APIs, can be copyrighted. At a trial in San Francisco, Oracle claimed Google’s Android operating system violated its right to the structure of 37 Java APIs.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled ruled that the Java APIs replicated by Google were not subjected to copyright protection and were free for all to use. The Federal Circuit disagreed on Friday and in structured the lower court to reinstate a jury’s finding of infringement of 37 Java API packages.¬†Google argued that software should only be allowed to be patented, rather than copyrighted.

This case was filed under the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is Oracle America Inc vs. Google Inc, 13-1021.