Google has won the court case over Oracle for using Programing language Java code in its Android operating system.
The Software competitor Oracle claimed Google had stolen its valuable property and reaped huge profits by copying pieces of an Oracle programming language called Java.
Google argued that Android’s reimplementation of the API constituted fair use, which would allow the use of the code without invalidating Oracle’s copyright. Ultimately, the jury found that case convincing. Oracle had contested that Google’s use of its proprietary Java code exceeded fair use, and was seeking damages of up to $9bn. Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system, with 1.4 billion monthly active users worldwide and a market share of more than 80%. Those users downloaded 65bn apps in 2015 alone.
“Today’s verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products.
The court fights hinged in large part on archived emails sent by Android founder Andy Rubin, who continued to develop the operating system after it was acquired by Google in 2005. In one email, unearthed through the legal discovery process, Rubin seems to criticize another company’s decision to build on top of Java’s API, which was owned by Sun Microsystems at the time. “Wish them luck,” Rubin wrote in the email. “Java.lang.apis is copyrighted. And Sun gets to say who they license the TCK to.”